High School Music-Video Project Ends in Nation’s Capital
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Band director Craig Lindvahl dreamed 18 months ago that his students’ music video would be so successful they might play the nation’s capital. Today, his dream has come true.
More than 100 youngsters from Teutopolis, a village of 1,400 in central Illinois, ended what began as a class project with performances this week at the Pentagon and the Elipse, across from the White House.
In the months between, their two-song ″Children of a Dream″ video drew national publicity and formed the basis of motivational and anti-drug campaigns in schools throughout the United States.
″In my wildest imagination, that’s exactly what I thought about,″ Lindvahl said Tuesday at a congressional luncheon honoring his students, who collaborated with young people from nine other Illinois schools. ″We always knew that what we were trying to say was valid, that it was a good thing and that people would listen,″ he said. ″So the response we’ve gotten across all social lines, across all economic lines, has been very gratifying.″
Lindvahl composed the music for both songs - ″Children of a Dream″ and ″Change Never Changes″ - on the locally produced video. A student wrote the lyrics, which he said delivered a two-fold message.
″To parents, the point is: ’Let’s not panic,‴ the teacher said. ″To kids, they’re saying, ’Don’t be blind followers.‴
″Children of a Dream″ addresses the issue of sex, violence and profanity in contemporary music, saying young people prefer quality to shock value in their songs. He said the other song warns teen-agers against bowing to peer pressure.
But Lindvahl said the work contains another, less-obvious message.
″The point is, kids can do something,″ he said. ″Regular kids can get together, make a statement, have an experience they’ll never forget.″
The teacher said schools in 38 states have requested the tapes..
″They’re using it for every conceivable kind of education situation from drug abuse to an in-school suspension program, telecommunications and fine- arts classes,″ Lindvahl said.
Students, meanwhile, said the project also was educational at home.
″It’s taught me not to give up,″ said Kim Hartke, 17. ″We started from an itty, small school and small band, and we’ve come to Washington. So you should not give up on anything. If you believe in something, you can achieve it.″
With ″Children of a Dream″ behind him, Lindvahl is eyeing an even bigger project.
″I would love to do a video involving a few of these kids and a few Soviet kids,″ he said. ″It would show that, with people-to-people contact with the Soviet Union, we can both find out that there are good things about each other.″