Oconee County High School alumna and Boston Conservatory musical theater senior Bailey Chastain recently shared an even bigger, virtual stage with fellow music students from the conservatory and the Berklee College of Music. 

Chastain and over 50 other students from the two schools recorded themselves singing and playing instruments for a heartfelt rendition of the hit 1965 song “What the World Needs Now Is Love.” 

Soon after the students published their collaboration, the video was shared hundreds of thousands of times online, and it even made it onto the March 29 edition of NBC’s “TODAY.” 

Berklee composition major Shelbie Rassler brainstormed the idea of a virtual orchestra shortly after students had been told to go home in mid-March due to concerns about COVID-19.

“She had this idea in a time when a lot of us were hurting pretty badly, when the wound or coronavirus was really fresh,” said Chastain, “and a lot of us were craving to make music with other people again.”

For more on this story, see the May 7 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website. 

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