Buhach students hope YouTube video will bring performer to prom

yamaro@mercedsunstar.comFebruary 28, 2013 

— A group of students at Buhach Colony High School have until March 31 to get 100,000 views on a music video they created so an up-and-coming recording artist can come sing at their prom.

As of Thursday afternoon, they had 3,296 views on the video that's posted on YouTube.

"We can always use a little more support," said senior Ashvindar Singh.

The students created the video after they had a Skype session with singer Whitney Wolanin in September as part of their women's studies class.

In January, Wolanin encouraged the students to create a music video for one of her songs.

Students didn't think twice about it, and quickly gathered ideas to produce the video.

On Feb. 23, Wolanin tweeted that if the students get 100,000 views on the video, she would perform at their prom. At that point, students started getting the word out to their schoolmates, family and friends.

Senior Dahlia Santiuste said they have been using social media to try to get more views on the video. They've also gone to talk to other classes.

Santiuste said it would be a fun experience if Wolanin came to sing at their prom, especially for her. "I've never been to a concert," she said.

Junior Joshua Kelley, who is not in the women's studies class, took ideas from the students and directed, produced and edited the video.

"It was an opportunity to actually make a video for someone who is in the business," Kelley said, who wants to pursue a career in film production.

He said it took a lot longer than initially expected, but the efforts paid off. "A lot of people liked it," he said.

Kelley, like the rest of the students involved in the project, remains optimistic about meeting the targeted number of views. "I believe it's possible," he said.

Senior Danielle Verderber said she "loves" Wolanin's music and is a big fan of the singer.

"She's reaching out to young listeners," she said, adding that she has enjoyed the Twitter interactions with the singer.

Verderber has in mind what she wants to do on prom night if they meet their target. "I would love to have a one-on-one chat with her," she said.

Teacher Annie Delgado said students in the women's studies class get to interview inspiring figures via Skype videoconferencing.

In the past, they've interviewed Gloria Steinem, Maria Shriver and other well-known figures.

It gives students the opportunity to contact people outside the local community, Delgado said. "For them to know that there's more to this world than the world inside the fours walls in the classroom," she said.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or yamaro@mercedsunstar.com.


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