Kernersville teacher brings more than 155 voices together in 2nd inspiring community music video

What's Right with Our Schools

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. (WGHP) — Watch Adam Mitchell in action with his students, and you can understand why he says teaching music is his calling.

Earlier in the pandemic, FOX8 showed you how he brought the Kernersville community together with the now-viral music video “We Rise,” which was all done virtually.

According to Mitchell, “I wasn’t sure after the first one if we were going to do another one. It’s really a whole lot of work.”

But he decided he wanted to do something special for his chorus students who would typically be preparing for a spring concert. And one night, while singing to his daughter, he got the idea for a new song called “Hopeshine,” a word you won’t find in any dictionary.

“The beauty of making up a word is you get to choose its definition and what that means and explore that,” said Mitchell.

He wrote the lyrics and music and decided to do another video but on a smaller scale. But then, he says, word got out about what he was doing.

“As I continued to talk to people about this, it just got bigger and bigger because people had seen the first one and they were like, ‘Hey, can I come sing with you?'” he said.

And soon, Hopeshine involved his students and many others who were in the first video, along with parents, teachers, central office staff and even Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Tricia McManus.

“I thought that was just so cool to have literally every level of where you could be in Forsyth County represented,” Mitchell said.

This time, Mitchell did the entire production himself: the recording, mixing and editing. He spent countless hours putting it together, but he says that way he could make it the way he envisioned it from the beginning.

“One shot I’m really, really excited about is all of the males from all the ensembles coming together. And for those young guys to see older gentlemen, continuing to sing after the voice change and what that looks like and that genesis of, ‘In 30 years, I can still be singing. I can still do something like that.’ I think that as a male vocalist, that’s really important to me, and I’m really excited for younger students to see that in that genesis as it goes up.” He said.

Hopeshine, he says, means something different to everyone. His students talked about that a lot when exploring their part in the song.

“Hopeshine is this for me,” said Mitchell. “And some people said ‘the feeling I get when I’m doing gymnastics,’ ‘the feeling I get when I’m playing with my dog,’ or ‘if I’ve been on a trip and I come back and I see my animals and I see my parents.’ The feelings.”

This video, like the last one, has a message for all.

“I hope people find hopeshine,” he said. “I hope people find this, this idea of this infectious optimism, even in the face of adversity.”

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