Singer's Going Away Present
Cherokee Scout By Kelsey Richardson ~ Murphy Like the first flowers of spring, local musician Aly Jordan filled Murphy High School’s special education classroom with vibrancy and joy on Friday. To celebrate 19-year-old Haylee Smiley’s birthday, the high-schooler’s teacher and mother Rhonda Smiley decided to surprise the class with an intimate performance by Jordan. Rhonda said while teaching, she always plays music in the background, including Jordan’s recent CD. “We believe in music in this room,” she said. “Everyone loves music in here.” After proposing the birthday performance to Jordan, Rhonda said the musician enthusiastically agreed. The students gathered in a circle with all eyes on 23-yyear-old Jordan as she opened with the folk song “Wagon Wheel.” Mesmerized by the sound of her voice and acoustic guitar, the room broke into smiles. Students and teachers sang along as Jordan played other familiar tunes like “Let It Be” by the Beatles and a couple of her original songs. “I think she has a beautiful voice”, special education assistant teacher Katrina Woss said. “She’s a special person to come in here. She’s young and I know she’ll go far.” Jordan is leaving for Nashville on March 13 to launch her career with the music and music video production company OMG Nashville. Jordan said the classroom show is one of her last performances in the area for a while. The class watched Jordan perform a collection of songs, then gathered around a table full of cupcakes and sang “Happy Birthday’ to Haylee. The students prepared all the cupcakes themselves. After Haylee opened her presents, 15-year-old student Brooke Sanders reserved a special gift for her friend. Raising her voice to the strum of Jordan’s guitar, Sanders improvised an original song for Haylee. “Haylee, I’ve never been so proud of you since you became a senior, “Sanders sang. “I was so proud of you when you helped us.” Once Sanders ended her heartfelt song, Jordan took other requests from the teachers and students before she ended her visit. With no experience performing in such an intimate setting, Jordan said she was nervous to sing for the class. As soon as she saw the smiles on the kids’ faces and their obvious excitement, Jordan said the nerves disappeared. “When she (Haylee) hugged me, my heart melted,” she said. “You can tell music has touched their lives. I definitely want to do something like this again.”
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.