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The sixth grade choir performing.

In partnership with the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and Roots of American Music (ROAM), the Rock Hall hosted performances by middle school students from across Northeast Ohio who have been working with teaching artists to compose original songs for the Stop the Hate: Youth Sing Out competition held on December 12, 2018. The Garfield Middle School 6th and 7th grade choirs tied for first place and earned their school $5,000!

The original songs the students created along with a guest composer and their director were about all kinds of topics important to youth today including bullying, refugee crises, racism, drug abuse, among other themes. Garfield's guest composer was Brent Kirby.

Also competing in the competition were the 8th grade morning choir from Garfield and the Harding afternoon choirs for 6th through 8th grade.

Said Director Lisa Richards of the event: “I have participated in this event with my choirs for the last five years. It has been a great experience for the students.”

The choirs will perform again at the Stop the Hate awards ceremony at the Cleveland Museum of Art on March 14, 2019.

You can read the winning lyrics below:

Turn Around: Garfield 6th Grade Choir & artist Brent Kirby

Intro:

Look at everything you have done
You have to know you’re not the only one
Think of things that give you joy
We have to stand up. Be strong, then turn around

Chorus:

Turn around, let our world bring you to the light
Turn around (part 2)
Turn around, let our world bring you to the light

Verse 1:

It’s a decision to do the right thing
You can be someone to look up to
Helping people who are in need
You can start over, and turn around (part 2)

(Chorus)

Verse 2:

If you feel like you don’t have a voice
You need to know that you have a choice
Sometimes we need to talk our feelings out
We have to stand up for others, and turn around

(Chorus)

Bridge:

Look at everything you have done
You have to know you’re not the only one
Think of things that give you joy
We have to stand up. Be strong
Then turn around

Chorus:

Turn around, let our world bring you to the light
Turn around (part 2)
Turn around, let our world bring you to the light
Turn around

Guns down: Garfield 7th Grade Choir and artist Brent Kirby

Verse 1:

Something happens and you don’t know what to do
Feeling angry, need someone to talk to
You’re not alone, I’m standing right here
Don’t be, controlled by your fear

Chorus:

Guns down, Guns down
We don’t need them around
We don’t want to hear the sound
We gotta stop! And put our guns down

Verse 2:

We should feel safe, to go to church, and pray
Places we go to everyday
Hurtful people out on the street
Look for warnings in what others tweet

(Chorus)

Bridge:

That could have been me standing there
We need more than thoughts and prayers

Verse 3:

People die. It’s no longer pretend
Scars are there of our families and friends
There are laws we need to amend
Bring justice to those who cannot defend

(Chorus)

We gotta stop
And put our guns down (3x)

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 5:06 PM, 01.08.2019