For this, the second in the Tuning Up series here on ritaLOVEStoWRITE, I’m presenting CLOUDS by Zach Sobiech.
Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, at the age of 14. After 10 surgeries and 20 rounds of chemo it became apparent that the end game was at hand. His mother, Laura, asked him to write farewell letters to the people who were important to him. He found that difficult, but he was able to write music. He penned CLOUDS.
The song was recorded and released on YouTube where it has been seen by 11.8 million viewers.
Here’s the original with Sobiech on vocals and acoustic guitar. The session was produced by Karl Demer and engineered by Merritt Benton. With John Lynn on piano, Zach Miller on drums, Sean O’Hea on bass and Matt Vannelli electric guitar
The song reached #1 on iTunes and charted on the Billboard Hot 100.
After his death a local radio station held a tribute concert with 5000 people — a mix of school choirs, church choirs, and fans — singing the song at the Mall of America.
Sobiech’s hope in releasing the song was to promote awareness of Osteosarcoma and help others with the disease. His family established The Zach Sobiech Osteosarcoma Fund at Children’s Cancer Research Fund.
I’ve done this song with several of my voice students. I love the message of the song and that it lets us, as performers, look beyond ourselves to a greater need.
Here is my Monday Night Trio, (Ellie, Meg and Emily) singing the song… (It is a little quiet)