Patriot Student Composes Song Honoring Fallen Student

| January 9, 2014 | 0 Comments | News

Photo Courtesy of Summer Pittman

By Samantha Scarola and Stacy Shaw

Following the death of Patriot High School graduate Josh Morrison, 19, one Patriot junior was moved to write and perform a song about him.

Singer, songwriter and musician Summer Pittman did not know Morrison herself, but knowing the effect his passing had on her school community, she was inspired to write a song about him.

“I never knew Josh, and I wasn’t really sure how to feel about any of this,” Pittman explained. Yet she, along with her classmates, grappled with the loss of one of their own, and applied her songwriting as a kind of catharsis.

“Songwriting is kind of my way of getting through and understanding what I am feeling,” she said.

It did not take long for Pittman, who studies vocals and guitar to construct her emotions into a song.

“I wrote the first verse on Saturday and I finished the rest on Sunday in about an hour,” Pittman said.

Pittman named her song, “Angel in the Outfield,” noting that “angel in the outfield” had become an honorary title the Patriot Pioneers bestowed upon Morrison, the school’s star outfielder, following his death.

While Pittman never hesitates to create music, she is more hesitant with sharing her music, which she typically keeps private.

“At first I never even intended to share it; it was just going to be for me,” said the Junior. “But then I sent it to my close friend because I knew that she was hurting, and she said it helped her to cope.”

Realizing the song was helping those in her community forced Pittman to have a change of heart. She said she felt a sense of obligation to put this song out to the public in hopes of helping others to cope as well.

“Music for me is what I cling to [in order] to make myself feel better. The fact that this song could do that for even just one person means the world to me,” she said.

Despite Pittman’s history of music education, she admitted that, “An Angel in the Outfield” is the first song she has uploaded to SoundCloud and thus made available to the public. She shared the song on Twitter with other school friends, and it soon went locally viral, leading to 4,000 people listening to her song.

“I think what was the most important was the people who knew Josh said that he would have really loved it,” she said.

A friend of Pittman’s even sent the link to Morrison’s mom, Melissa Morrison, who contacted Pittman and thanked her for writing it. Mrs. Morrison even invited Pittman to perform at Wednesday evening’s memorial ceremony for Josh held at Grace Life Community Church.

Performing the song in front of hundreds of people, is frightening enough, but Pittman said it was “terrifying” knowing this was not just any crowd, but Josh Morrison’s friends and family. She hoped they could find some solace, as she had, in “An Angel in the Outfield.”

However, afterwards, Pittman said she was glad to have shared her song with the community.

“There were people telling me that it helped them in some kind of way, so if it can do that than I’m really glad that I shared it,” she said.

Others at the memorial service also paid tribute to Morrison, through stories and memories, all of which, Pittman said, created a very positive mood for celebrating his life.

“They had some family friends, and his girlfriend and some of his best friends spoke about him. They were happy memories and it was a good way to remember someone who seemed to be so happy.”

For Pittman, creating music has always been her way of processing emotions she had difficulty coming to terms with. The fact that she was able to help others with that art means a lot to her. Pittman comes from a family of musicians on her fathers side, and hopes to continue the tradition also pursuing a career in music someday.

“I want to go to Belmont University in Nashville which is mostly a music performance and business school,” Pittman said.

However, today she is happy that her music touched her high school community that is grieving.

“Everybody at Patriot knew of him at least or knew someone who knew him,” she said.

© 2014 – 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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