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Weston Ranch High’s ‘singing principal’ draws YouTube hits
singing princiopal

Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’ is a song that’s been around for 60 years.

But its message of hope during tough times – in particular, the current COVID-19 pandemic – remains timeless.

For that reason, the staff at Weston Ranch High reached out to students and the community with a multimedia performance of that song.

“It took a few weeks to do, from start to finish,” said Principal Troy Fast, who had a chance to display his musical talents on the Facebook video during Sunday’s debut.

He along with the school’s music teacher Trisha Kennedy and band instructor Joe Barron – he separately plays the guitar, bass and percussions – performed the classic song pieced together by English teacher James Burns, who has a multimedia background.

He also spent three weeks collecting photos of the teaching staff to insert on the YouTube video — the "Singing Principal" has already received an estimated 6,000 views counting social media.

"We thought it might do OK within MUSD and the greater Stockton communities," said Burns, who was surprised to get that many hits including some from Sacramento during that first 24 hours.

Those involved with this rendition of "Stand By Me" did so with the intent of connecting with their students during the time of distance learning and isolation.

According to Fast, who grew up singing in his high school choir -- he's also involved in the choir at Crossroads Grace Community Church -- the message is that of positivity during unprecedented times.

"We've used our gifts to connect with our kids," he said.

To view the video, click on to the Weston Ranch High home page at