Talking Heads members help Sandy Hook schoolchildren with charity single

Somewhere Over the Rainbow, featuring singer Ingrid Michaelson, will honour those who died in the Newtown shooting

Two former Talking Heads have helped a choir of students from Sandy Hook Elementary School record a charity single, which also features the singer Ingrid Michaelson. Their rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow, which is available now, will raise money in honour of the children and staff who died in last month's shooting at the school in Newtown, Connecticut.

The song was recorded at the home studio of Connecticut residents Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, known for their work in Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads. "My hope is that the kids from Sandy Hook school have a hit record," Frantz said. "And I think they have a pretty good chance." Tim Hayes, one of the new owners of New York's revived CBGB club, helped bring the project together. "Music has the power to heal both the listener and the performers," he told the LA Times. "The children were asked to sing the song as if it was a prayer."

Most of the 21 members of the Sandy Hook choir are either current or former students of the school, and many lost friends in the attack. Kayla Verga, who is 10, told the TV show Good Morning America that singing helped her remember six-year-old Jessica Rekos, who died on 11 December. "Singing the song makes me feel like she's with me and she's beside me, singing along with me," she said.

Michaelson, whose most recent album reached No 5 in the US, sings and plays ukulele on the song. "To be able to honour those who lost their lives is something I am incredibly humbled by," she said. Proceeds from sales of the track will go to the United Way of Western Connecticut and the Newtown Youth Academy, a community centre.

Twenty-six people died after 20-year-old Adam Lanza opened fire at Sandy Hook, later killing himself.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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