SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The students at the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School were collaborating with a school in Puerto Rico, working to create music and poetry, but due to the recent earthquakes, the trip was cancelled.

Now, the students are coming together to help out the island and raise money for the victims.

A group of students at the school were working with students at the Alcides Figueroa School out of Anasco, Puerto Rico.

The students on the island expressed themselves through poetry and it was up to the students at PVPA to create music from the poems.

"It was a lot about trying to figure out what the poet was saying. Some were more abstract than others and sometimes, there were references we had to look up," said singer Analua Alencar Moreia.

From there, the students moved on to songwriting to help make these poems into music.

From the bass to the drums and to the vocals, the students put their creative minds together to come up with powerful music, but after a year-worth of planning, fundraising, and weeks of songwriting, the trip has been cancelled due to the conditions from the recent earthquakes.

“We woke up and it was five degrees, so we were looking forward to meeting them and being on the island to share this artistic thing with them, but we also realize it's the reality of the situation," said music teacher Matthew King.

Still, the students at PVPA are not giving up. They organized a fundraising concert at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke, hoping to reach the Puerto Rican community in western Massachusetts.

“Not only do I get to collaborate with my peers, I’m collaborating people who I don’t even know to help share the message from their poems," said Luna Cave.

King said although they are bummed the students won't get to interact or hear the music together, they still plan on involving the students from Puerto Rico through their concert.

“We are going to videotape them reading the poems, then we will perform them, and hopefully, capture that reaction at another time," King added.

The concert is scheduled for Febuary 13 at 7 p.m.

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(1) comment

mking

For anyone interested in coming to hear these songs at the fundraiser, here are the details:

The PVPA/MAPS music students (featuring award-winning performance poet, playwright,

and performer Magdalena Gómez) will be performing the songs co-created with the AFS

poetry students at a fundraising concert, with proceeds going to organizations supporting

the hardest hit earthquake victims.

● Where – Gateway City Arts, 92 Race Street, Holyoke

● When – February 13, 2020 at 7PM

● Admission – suggested $15 per person donation

● Drinks available, plus Race Street Tacos serving throughout the event. Judd's, a

new Czech-American restaurant on site at GCA, will be open from 5-10pm.

Reservations recommended. Call (413) 650-0786 for more information on dining.

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