Parkland Students Perform Song Inspired by Victim Alex Schachter's Poem at Benefit Concert

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Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students joined some of Broadway’s best as they honored the victims of the February mass shooting in song, including pieces inspired by the works of those lost.

More than 4,700 people attended "From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Parkland, USA," a star-studded concert featuring drama students, local arts groups and entertainers from the stage and television at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., on Monday.

Seasoned performers lent their expertise to help teens pay tribute to the 17 killed when a gunman opened fire inside the halls of their Parkland high school on Feb. 14. 

With the help of singer-songwriter and composer Duncan Sheik, Stoneman Douglas junior Sawyer Garrity and another student wrote a song based on a poem penned by Alex Schachter, who was among those killed in the massacre.

"This song is for him," Garrity told CNN. "He's going to live on through this song and through this poem he wrote."

Schachter's parents asked the students to write the song after their first performance at a town hall following the shooting, Garrity said. 

"In the end, everything that we're doing is for them and everything that we're doing is so that they'll be remembered — all the 17, and even the ones who were injured and anyone hurt by gun violence," Garrity said.

The dance group to which victim Jaime Guttenberg belonged also took to the stage to honor their fallen friend in an emotional performance that left the audience cheering. 

Wayne Brady, "Glee" star Matthew Morrison and former "American Idol" runner-up Justin Guarini were among those who performed with the teens, in what student Alex Wind called "a day of light."

“It’s a day of hope. It’s a day of remembrance and a day of really just coping and healing through music," Wind added.

Seven student-written songs were performed during the three-hour concert.

"The school is very, very active in the arts and in the Broadway community," Broadway performer Deborah Cox, who personally knew two of the victims, told WQAM-TV.  "It’s just wonderful that we’re here, you know, as a voice for these kids, as well, as an extended voice."

Proceeds from the event will go to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Victims' Fund and Shine MSD to benefit arts advocacy in the Parkland community.


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