A high school choir director’s retirement went viral on TikTok after dozens of his previous students spanning decades came back to sing a final concert with him.
Mr. Stanley from Cartersville High School in Bartow County, Georgia, invited choir alumni, some dating back 30 years, to return and sing a final concert, Maggie Kuhn posted on TikTok.
@watchmaggiepaint Thank you, Mr. Stanley. When Mr. Stanley retired, he sent out an invite to all his old students, inviting us to come sing and be directed by him for one last day. I blocked it in my calendar and didn't work a wedding, specifically so I could go to my small home town and sing for one last time with all the people I grew up knowing. It was so emotional. So many memories flooded back, we had the strongest choral program of a town our size, all because of Stanley. Many of us became artists and mysicians professionally. Reuniting and seeing the life path of each former student was wild. SHOUTOUT to Lisa for the solo, she is amazing. #mrhollandsopus #choralmusic #teacher #inspiring ♬ original sound - Watch Maggie Paint
“When Mr. Stanley retired, he sent out an invite to all his old students, inviting us to come sing and be directed by him for one last day,” Kuhn, a live wedding artist, said on TikTok. “I blocked it in my calendar and didn’t work a wedding, specifically so I could go to my small hometown and sing for one last time with all the people I grew up knowing.”
She filmed the rehearsal of City Called Heaven, arranged by Josephine Poelinitz. The choir and its soloist, who Kuhn identified as Lisa Lowe Douglas, blew millions of viewers out of the water.
“The way the girls are smiling in appreciation of the absolute POWERHOUSE leading them,” one person commented.
@watchmaggiepaint Replying to @CoffeyKaffeine Here it is! Lisa Lowe Douglas performing "City Called Heaven" directed by Jim Stanley. #choralmusic #mrhollandsopus #inspiring #lisalowedouglas ♬ original sound - Watch Maggie Paint
“Her voice makes me instantaneously emotional,” another added.
“Theres so much emotion and soul dripping out of this chorus,” a third said.
Kuhn posted a clip of the concert after the rehearsal went viral, adding that they only had one rehearsal to get it right before the big performance.
“We were all mostly sightreading, we all just remembered his teaching,” she told viewers.
She also added: “He changed our lives.”