HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Undaunted by the obstacles thrown up by the coronavirus pandemic, six vocalists, all members of the Hillsborough High School Choir, have put together a video of patriotic songs dedicated to veterans and all members of the military.
They'd prefer to be performing live in front of an audience, but they can't.
Performing for a virtual audience is the next best alternative, according to Kelly Irwin, a sophomore at HHS and co-founder of Lend-A-Voice!
She is joined by Elena Waddleton co-leader; Matthew Conlon; Caitlin Schwarz; Julia Parks and Sabrina Schubert.
The YouTube video will help to make up for the absence of Memorial Day parades and observances, according to Irwin.
The video is still being edited, and will be posted on YouTube no later than Wednesday, Irwin said.
Each member of the singing group will perform one of the following songs:
"Star Spangled Banner; "My Country 'tis of Thee; "This Land is Your Land" "American the Beautiful;" "God Bless America," and "Born in the USA."
The video will also include inspirational messages from each of the members.
"Our whole idea is to express our gratitude to those who have served and those who have fallen," Irwin said.
Lend-A-Voice! is searching for host sites on the Internet and Facebook to post their YouTube Link. Several organizations have agreed to do so, including the Rotary Club of Hillsborough, St. Joseph Church, Hillsborough and Operation Shoebox New Jersey, a non-profit organization based in Hillsborough that ships personal care packages to US troops deployed around the world.
Lend-A-Voice! started last year prior to the holiday season. The group visited nursing homes in Hillsborough performing Christmas carols, and according to Irwin, they were well-received. The plan was to continue performing at nursing homes and other venues throughout the year, but that got sidetracked by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quarantines at the nursing homes were a problem, so the group switched gears and directed their efforts to veterans, veterans organizations, and anyone who'd like to provide an email or Facebook address of a veteran or veteran's family. Lend-A-Voice! will send their link to all those who request it, according to Irwin.
Each member of the group has been reaching out to their social networks, and have sent emails to their teachers, classmates, family members and others.
"The past few weeks it's blown up more than we could imagine," Irwin said.
If you want to receive a copy of the patriotic video, or want to send it to a veteran, friend, relative or organization as a Memorial Day tribute, send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This link is a promotion for the Memorial Day video, which is expected to be posted Wednesday, May 20: