Voices of Hope from Park City, Utah, video proclaims ‘We Are the World’
To watch “We Are the World” performed by Voices of Hope from Park City, Utah, visit youtube.com/watch?v=id-DPuDO2_Y.
Back in 1985 the supergroup USA for Africa, which featured the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper and Stevie Wonder recorded the charity single “We Are the World” to help aid famine relief in Africa.
The song, written by Lionel Richie and the late Michael Jackson, was rerecorded 25 years later by Artists for Haiti with some of the original singers and newer ones such as Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson.
The song was again rereleased on YouTube by Voices of Hope from Park City, Utah, on Wednesday, and the video featured some local superstars including former Park City Mayor Dana Williams, actress and singer Ava Hoekstra and her family, and Father Christopher Gray of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Other participants included Peg and Paul Tan and their family, Park City Singers director Joe Demers, Park City Librarian Katrina Kmak, and longtime Parkites Jill and Richard Sheinberg to name a few.
The project was overseen by Park City-based singer, producer and music teacher Tanya Taylor to help calm her own fears that have bubbled to the surface during the COVID-19 quarantine and local earthquakes.
For the past few weeks, Taylor has struggled watching her husband, Todd Bigatel, an internal medicine specialist at Park City Hospital, go into work each day as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, and the videos have helped calmed her nerves.
“When you watch them, you can see the love that is exuded in the video by the people who are coming together,” she said. “And that gave me the idea to do something along those lines. I wanted to help combat fear and promote positivity.”
Taylor sent off an email on Friday, March 20, to some friends that included musicians, singers and community leaders to see if they were interested in participating in the project.
“Most of them were gracious enough to say yes,” she said. “In fact our former mayor’s response was a ‘Hell, yes.’”
As more people climbed on board, Taylor started to map out the video’s structure and arrange the parts.
Peg Tan and Father Gray came up with some background tracks that people would play in the background so they could video themselves singing along on their computers.
Musician Richard Lesh, on the other hand, proposed he play harmonica.
“It was funny because he told me he wasn’t a really good singer, so the harmonica was his idea,” Taylor said.
The video’s aerial footage of Park City was filmed by Paul Tan via drone, and Father Gray used another drone to film a flyover of St. Mary’s Church, according to Taylor, who edited the video throughout the process.
“The video exceeded my expectations, and, more than anything, all the people in it touched my heart,” she said. “I’m a very loving person, and this social distancing thing is hard. I think this video is a way to stay connected and create love and harmony to forge through this.”
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