Two student survivors of the Parkland, Florida shooting released an inspirational ballad to benefit victims of the tragedy. Sawyer Garrity, 16, and Andrea Peña, 15, recorded “Shine” with members of the drama department from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a gunman killed 17 people on February 14th.
Lyrically, “Shine” covers the spectrum of grief, as the students move from anger (“You ruined this town/ You burned all of the bridges, and you slowly let us drown”) to resiliency (“We’re putting up a fight/ You may have brought the dark, but together we will shine the light”). The arrangement builds from stripped-down piano and cello to lush vocal harmonies and orchestral percussion.
The track is now available via iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and other streaming platforms. Proceeds will be donated to the SHINE MSD Fund at the Broward Education Foundation, a non-profit assisting victims and their families through local mental health and arts programs.
Garrity and Peña wrote “Shine” days after the tragedy. Stoneman Douglas High School drama students first performed the song during a CNN Town Hall meeting on February 21st, where community members sought government action on gun control. “[Garrity] and I used the song #shine as a creative outlet so our voices and the voices of those 17 could be heard and never forgotten,” Peña tweeted one day after the event.
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The school’s students also played “Shine” on March 14th during a walk-out as part of a nationwide protest honoring victims and raising awareness about gun violence.
The duo decided to record and release the song after witnessing the impact from their CNN performance. “It’s our call for action and hope,” Garrity said of the track in a statement.