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Feb 12, 2019

After somewhere in the neighborhood of fifty years in the music business, I still never know when or sometimes why projects come my way. This past year has been defined by work born out of tragedy. Unfortunately, my laptop has similar folders in it – one for Sandy Hook, another for Pulse/Orlando; and now, yet another, this time for Parkland, after the shooting on February 14, 2018. For each of the benefit concerts entitled From Broadway With Love, I became the supervising orchestrator. One Parkland song in particular has continued to bring strength, hope and healing throughout the year since tragedy sparked a fire in two very special students. Written by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña, “Shine” had its first performance on CNN Town Hall on February 21st, just a few short days after its creation. The song featured Sawyer and Andrea as well as several other MSD students and, out of that, Shine MSD was created ( to support victims of the shooting and to begin healing the Parkland community through the arts.

For the From Broadway With Love concert, I worked with the songwriters to expand and add full choir parts to "Shine" – to make it more of an anthem and to bring a full orchestration to it. Since that concert on April 16th, Sawyer and Andrea performed for leaders of our government at the Ford's Theatre Gala – a bipartisan event I music direct annually – on June 10, 2018 ... to a standing ovation.

August brought “Shine” to the US Open's Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, broadcast on ABC, which featured ten students from MSD as well as young hitmakers CNCO, In Real Life, Echosmith and AJ Mitchell, among many others. It was a bit surreal rehearsing with all these young stars (who were extremely kind and respectful to the MSD students) while Roger Federer was practicing on the court below the stage.

In September, Andrea and Sawyer performed – again to a standing ovation – for the Television Advocacy Awards in Los Angeles. I was both fortunate and proud to be in the audience, proud of everything these two young survivors have accomplished in such a short window of time.

On Sunday, February 10th of this year (2019), just prior to the tragedy's one year anniversary, nine MSD students performed "Shine" with the Boston Pops at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale. I'm honored to have written a new orchestration for this very special performance, again renewing my connection to the Pops after having worked with Keith Lockhart and his world-famous Pops musicians for many years.

Photo by Ian Ebettson

Photo by Ian Ebettson

As remarkable as these young students are and as numerous as are the positives given wings through this song, it's my sincere hope that I might never have cause to do more of these benefit concerts... The first one was one too many.

About Kim

Kim Scharnberg

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To say that Kim Scharnberg grew up in a diverse musical environment would be an understatement. Connecticut-based Scharnberg has evolved from a young music student growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to an acclaimed producer, arranger, composer and conductor who has worked with such luminaries of the stage as Linda Eder and Julie Andrews, to name only a few. His vast experience ranges from conducting major international orchestras to producing highly-commercial recording artists.

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