With the tragic and unexpected death of District 88 Superintendent Dr. Scott Helton, the ATHS Music Department has arranged a music tribute in his honor. On Thursday, Jan. 28, Dupage HS District 88 will be hosting the formal memorial on the Dupage 88 website, ATHS Music Channel, and the virtual Dupage 88 newsletter at 7 .pm.
Band Director Mark Corey said, “Participants are making a video of themselves performing only their parts. We provided them with a track to listen to while they perform so that the part that they record lines up with the reference track we supplied. Then, the music staff will extract the audio from each video, mix it in an audio workstation and the videos will all be lined up with the audio. In the end, we will have a video where you can see and hear all of the participants performing at the same time.”
Connecting with everyone he interacted with, Dr. Helton touched the hearts of many, which explains why so many have been willing to contribute to this beautiful project. Not only are the students enrolled in music classes performing, but alumni music students will also make an appearance as well as current and former AT and Willowbrook staff members. As of the organization of this project, AT staff members Mr. Corey, Mr. Stombres, Ms. Bonk, Ms. Boisse and Mr. Nellessen have been working hard behind the scenes to ensure this project runs smoothly.
“From the perspective of a music student, I think what the music department is doing is truly beautiful. Although I personally didn’t know Dr. Helton, I can feel the impact he had around the Addison community and just how great of a person he was. It’s an honor to be a part of this music tribute and I hope this piece can touch viewers’ hearts,” expressed senior Elizabeth Bernar.
In the spirit of remembrance and grace, performers will be playing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” by John Rutter, a piece that asks a person’s soul be blessed and accepted to heaven. Composed in 1981, the piece is based on the biblical numbers 6:24-26 and is a setting of a biblical benediction.
Mr. Corey explained that,“Whenever there are significant events in our lives, music often plays a big part in the experience. For example, at weddings, music often helps set the emotional tone of the event from framing the love and support of the event to providing a celebratory atmosphere. Same is true of events that are unexpected or traumatic. Music often provides the emotional healing that is needed after traumatic events. Take a look at what was happening on TV during the holidays. While the entire country was experiencing loss due to the virus and being unable to be with family and friends, television was inundated with musical performances to help people feel connected. The same here. We hope that by providing a music tribute to Dr. Helton, we can help the community heal while expressing the sense of loss of a beloved colleague, educator and leader,” said Mr. Corey.