Students create original song and music video on John Lennon bus
Five Blair students won the John Lennon songwriting contest and spent Thursday, May 5 writing and recording an original song with three other students. The contest was sponsored by the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, the National Education Association (NEA) and the racial unifying organization Oneness.
Blair was chosen as the site for the recording of the song and production of the music video primarily because of its large population and the school's myriad of art programs, not because the majority of winners were Blair students, said NEA's spokesperson Staci Maiers. The NEA was hoping to attract support for their Read Across American campaign by offering students the unique opportunity to create music in a professional environment.
In order to secure the rights to Lennon's name, Rothschild contacted Lennon's famous widow Yoko Ono who approved of the idea and gave Rothschild legal permission for them to use Lennon's likeness. "John believed in promoting music literacy for kids," said bus engineer Doug Lubowitz. "He was also a bit of a rebel."
The contest winners' day began at around 8 a.m. when they were herded in front of the bus for interviews and pictures with local press, while other Blair students were able to take quick tours of the bus's facilities. The tour bus is divided into two halves; the first functions as a kitchen and a multimedia mixer while the back functions as a recording studio. In between the two rooms are three tiny bunks for the bus's three engineers, Lubowitz, Steve Miller and Robert Healy, to use while on the road.
All three are music aficionados and have worked with instruments and harmonic engineering throughout college. Miller expounded on his love of music and why he believes the John Lennon bus is so important to kids, and said that it is vital that students "[use] music as a medium to get your word out."
In addition to helping out in the songwriting contest, the engineers also tour around with bands such as the Black Eyed Peas and appear at concerts like the WARPED tour and the JazzFest. The bus showed signs of wear and tear from musicians; Miller fondly pointed out a speaker which had been blown out by a member of the Black Eyed Peas.
Although the bus was full of high-tech equipment, it was still able to comfortably house the entire group of musicians in the back chamber while a growing group of reporters sat and watched the students on a monitor in the front of the bus. Representatives from BET, ABC, Fox, NBC, CBS, the Gazette and WTOP all appeared to cover the story throughout the day.
Grace Harter. Grace Harter is currently a CAP senior at Blair. She loves anything British, books, music, movies and of course Silver Chips Online. She'd like to close with a quote from "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that is especially profound (and makes reference to her ultimate favorite … More »