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Corner Brook trio produce video of music festival piece with a COVID twist while social distancing

Lily Smallwood, left, Clare Coleman and Anna Barrett collaborated on a video for their Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival piece, “I Know It’s Today,” from “Shrek,” while practicing social distancing in Corner Brook.
Lily Smallwood, left, Clare Coleman and Anna Barrett collaborated on a video for their Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival piece, “I Know It’s Today,” from “Shrek,” while practicing social distancing in Corner Brook. - Saltwire
CORNER BROOK, N.L. —

There’s no doubt that when times are tough a bit of music can do wonders to lighten any situation.

A video featuring three Corner Brook girls singing their version of “I Know It’s Today,” from “Shrek" is doing just that.

Lily Smallwood, Clare Coleman and Anna Barrett have been performing in the Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival for years, individually and sometimes as part of the same groups, never just the three of them together.

That was supposed to happen this year with a collaboration on “I Know It’s Today,” they’d been working on with music teacher Jennifer Stratton-Renouf. But the festival was cancelled in light of the COVID-19 situation.

“I worked really hard on everything that I did, and it was kind of like everything was wasted,” said Smallwood, 12, who was set to perform in about 15 festival classes.

Her mom, Erin Smallwood, received notification on her calendar the day of the girls’ scheduled appearance and that made everyone think.

Some people had already been sharing their festival pieces through Facebook and the girls decided to video each of their parts and have Amy Andrews, of Dance Studio West and a local YouTuber, edit them together.

Lily Smallwood, left, Anna Barrett and Clare Coleman are seen in a sceenshot from a video of their Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival trio piece they completed while social distancing in Corner Brook.
Lily Smallwood, left, Anna Barrett and Clare Coleman are seen in a sceenshot from a video of their Corner Brook Rotary Music Festival trio piece they completed while social distancing in Corner Brook.

In the song Fiona is singing about her time locked in a tower.

“Really this song is kind of about being trapped, so we thought it would be really funny to change the lyrics.”

Each girl wrote the lyrics for their individual verses and Barrett also wrote the ending. Smallwood’s mom filmed her part and two days later, after 18 takes, she had the one she submitted.

“Because I knew the song so well originally. It was kind of spur of the moment, I mean, I made up the lyrics and a then a half hour later I was trying to smooth the lyrics thing into the book I was reading.”

Coleman, 14, was also looking forward to the trio because it would be the first time she was part of one, and she was getting to experience it with two amazing singers.

“Our voices fit really well together.”

So, the festival’s cancellation was disappointing.

“You work really hard for it. So, it was as if a lot of hard work went to nothing. Which I know is not true, because you still learn a lot in the process, but there was a little bit of disappointment. So, I was super excited when I found out we could record our trio parts and make it a lot of fun, so we still got to do it.”

It took Coleman about a half hour to an hour to put together the words for her verse.

“But to record it, and have it memorized and do it without laughing the entire time that was harder.”

She was also a bit concerned about how they’d be able to work the harmony part near the end of the song while not hearing each other.

“Which is one of the very important things you need to be able to do to harmonize, but it ended up working.”

“I’ve never done any online performing at all. It was totally new, but it was so much fun, especially to do with Clare and Lily. We love working on that trio together, so it was cool to still work on it, but on our phones, sending videos to each other, improving on it through our phones. It was just really cool.”

Coleman said the project was fun while social distancing and she’s hoping they’ll still be able to do the original version somewhere.

“We’ll figure something out. It’s an amazing song.”

Barrett may have been the most disappointed out of the three about the festival’s cancellation.

“I’ve done the festival every year since I was four,” said the 17-year-old who would have participated for her final time.

“So, of course I was devastated when I heard that it wasn’t going ahead.”

When she saw Smallwood’s video with the changed verse she was convinced they had the perfect idea.

“To use all of our hard work that we’ve put into our trio. Without going to the festival and while staying safe at home we could still enjoy all of the hard work we put into it.”

It was a different way to collaborate.

“I’ve never done any online performing at all. It was totally new, but it was so much fun, especially to do with Clare and Lily. We love working on that trio together, so it was cool to still work on it, but on our phones, sending videos to each other, improving on it through our phones. It was just really cool.”

And like the other two, Barrett did a few takes.

“Oh, well, quite a few, I’d say at least 20,” she said as there were a lot of starts and stops.

The result, she said was awesome, giving credit to Andrew’s editing.

“It came together so nice, especially since all three of us went full out with all of our costumes, and all of the makeup and hair.”

With technology she said it’s a good time for people to be stuck inside.

“It’s a good outlet to share all of the things that we’ve missed out on. We can still do it, just now we’re going to do it online.”

Our music festival was cancelled and it was extremely disappointing for everyone. There were a few girls who were particularly disappointed about not being able to perform their Musical Theatre Trio. Well....we took the lemons we were handed and made a whole lotta lemonade. The girls adapted the lyrics from Shrek’s “I know it’s today” - the song they were supposed to perform - to help reflect the current Covid situation. Enjoy this rendition by young, teenage and adult Fiona! These girls make us so proud! 💚💚💚 Special thanks to our production team: Janice Coleman Andrea Barrett, vocal coaches Kelly-Ann Evans Jennifer Stratton-Renouf and the amazing video editor Amy Andrews and of course the original writers: David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori. Feel free to share!

Posted by Erin CSwood on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

“I Know It’s Today,” the COVID-19 version by Lily Smallwood, Clare Coleman and Anna Barrett:

Verse 1 by Lily Smallwood

There’s a princess stuck in her bedroom

Oh my gosh that’s just like me

Poor Rapunzel needs some air but due to COVID it just can’t be.

She passes time by singing, like someone else I know

As years go by she sits and waits, as years go by... oh oh.

A torturous existence, I don’t remember this part, she wishes she were dead, skip ahead, skip ahead.

But in the end the people will help to find a cure, everyone is working to save us that’s for sure.

And I know it will clear cuz there are rules and there’s restrictions

Don’t get stressed by stories that you read on every site.

It’s alright, please trust me things will all go back to normal.

It won’t be long now I guarantee.

Day number 23.

Verse 2 by Clare Coleman:

There’s a princess with strict parents, oh my gosh that’s just like me.

Pretty maiden stuck in the attic nothing to do but read.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, no more friends

Boring, boring family time

Siblings, siblings drive her crazy

She might just lose her mind.

Skip ahead, skip ahead!

But in the end the princess wakes up with a start

The virus has disappeared

It overwhelms her heart.

So, I know there’s a cure we must have faith, cuz they’re trying

Stay at home I know it sucks but it’ll help.

Read a book

Pick a hobby

I’ve done it all but it’s not helping.

Pray that they’ll soon find a cure

Day number 958.

Verse 3 and ending by Anna Barrett:

There’s a princess, any princess, take your pick they’re all like me

Not exactly I’m still waiting

I’m still stuck in quarantine.

I’ve been trapped inside for so long now

It feels like centuries

I’m talking to the paintings now.

*sneeze*

Did I just sneeze?

Oh my God, this can’t be happening

I can’t have COVID-19!

After everything I’ve done just to prevent this, it can’t be!

All the Purell!

All the Lysol!

Social distancing!

Isolation!

And the washing! The washing! The washing! The washing! The waaaaaaaaasshhiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnggg!!!!!

It’s okay, I’ll be fine, though my hands are cracking and bleeding.

At least I have no family, to give it to...

And some how

There’s still no vaccine

So, I guess I’ll just push through it

It won’t be long now, I guarantee.

Day number... are you there God?

It’s me Fiona

(All three Fionas)

It’s me Fiona

But I know this will end.

Cause there are rules and there are strictures

I believe that we will find a cure pretty soon.

The COVID, the COVID ninteeeeeeeen

Will soon be gone forever

It won’t be long now I guarantee.

(Lily) Day number 23

(Clare) Day number 958

(Anna) Day number 8,423.

I know it’s today

I know it’s today

I know it’s today

I know it’s today!


Twitter: WS_DianeCrocker

@western_star

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