Pearl-Cohn students reach new heights with music - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Pearl-Cohn students reach new heights with music

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

What started as a project in music class has turned into something much bigger. Students at Pearl-Cohn High School, with the help of their Grammy-winning teacher, put a new spin on an old song.

Now, their voices are being heard on the radio and by thousands of people online.

One of the most talented teams in music came together - producers, videographers and singers - but not in a swanky studio on Music Row. It's at one of Nashville's oldest institutions.

"Pearl-Cohn is a great school. It's more than what the people make it seem," said student Vincent Zirker.

Stories of guns on campus, fights and low test scores have given the high school a bad reputation in recent years, but that's all changing thanks to these students and their overnight hit.

Led by Grammy-winning teacher and producer Cedric Caldwell, their simple Black History Month project reached heights even he couldn't imagine.

"I wanted to teach the kids Lift Every Voice and Sing, and I thought about the idea of We Are the World from 1985," Caldwell said.

Incorporating every discipline at the school, the students used the same concept to create their own unique twist to an old Negro spiritual, and they even shot a documentary about the project.

"It's just amazing what these kids can do," Caldwell said.

The result is a stirring rendition, moving listeners from Legislative Plaza to local radio.

"It's emotional to see what it became and to see how good it turned out," said student A'mari Simmons.

Students and staff hope this simple song will help usher in a new era for Pearl-Cohn.

"Our kids produced something that's outstanding. The caliber of this is way up," said Executive Principal Sonia Stewart. "They are changing the conversation about Pearl-Cohn."

In 2011, Mayor Karl Dean introduced a new program at the school geared towards the music industry, from production to songwriting.

According to school officials, Pearl-Cohn is the only entertainment magnet high school in the nation.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Deadly virus threatens local crawfish industry

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:26 PM EDT2017-05-23 23:26:19 GMT

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    More >>

    A deadly virus is threatening the crawfish industry in Southwest Louisiana. It's called white spot syndrome virus and it was first discovered in Thailand, but somehow it made its way to ponds in South Louisiana and specialists are struggling to find the funds to research a solution.  “The catch was increasing and increasing and then it dropped 70% and that's when you saw the dead crawfish floating in the water,” said a crawfish farmer of 34 years, Ian Garbarino. He...

    More >>
  • New Orleans sits atop an ancient barrier island

    New Orleans sits atop an ancient barrier island

    To the casual observer, this looks like any other section of marsh. However, this spot in extreme Eastern New Orleans-- almost at the St. Tammany Parish line-- is unique. 

    More >>

    To the casual observer, this looks like any other section of marsh. However, this spot in extreme Eastern New Orleans-- almost at the St. Tammany Parish line-- is unique. 

    More >>
  • Three charged in Kingston Frazier's death will face charges in Hinds County

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 6:26 PM EDT2017-05-23 22:26:16 GMT
    Source: WLBTSource: WLBT

    Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said the three will be charged with auto theft and kidnapping in Hinds County.

    More >>

    Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith said the three will be charged with auto theft and kidnapping in Hinds County.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly