In April 2019, Williston High School student Lexi Meduna tragically lost her life in a car crash. In an upcoming concert performance, the WHS choirs will be honoring Lexi with a special piece of music.
Meduna was a student in Katie Rooke’s choir last spring, and when she passed Rooke said she was compelled to have a piece written in her honor. At the time of her passing, Rooke’s class was being visited by a guest musician and friend of Rookes, Jordan Roll, who performs with the acapella group Six Appeal. Rooke said Roll experienced firsthand how Meduna’s loss affected the students, and agreed to compose a piece in her honor.
Rooke said she wanted the piece to really reflect who Meduna was as a person, so she approached those who knew her best for some inspiration.
“I contacted Lexi’s parents and her mom submitted some of Lexi’s English papers that she had written that told a little bit about Lexi,” Rooke told the Williston Herald. “And then she wrote a page of information about Lexi, and then I also asked the students if any of them would like to write anything about Lexi that we could give to Jordan just so he could sort of get to know her a little bit more before he wrote the piece.”
Rooke said she gave everything to Roll before school ended in May, and he agreed to have a piece ready by Labor Day weekend so the choir could begin rehearsing. The song is called “Smile,” and Rooke said it is a beautiful tribute to Meduna, which the combined high school choirs will perform on Monday, Oct. 14. About 175 students make up the four choirs, making the performance something truly special to see.
“It’s really a cool piece,” Rooke said. “It’s great that it has the connection to Lexi, but it’s not about really about her past, it’s more about how she will live and her memory will live on through our actions.”
Rooke said the choir has been working to learn the song, shedding many tears along the way. Rooke added that while it has been difficult, learning the song has also been a healing experience for herself and her students, many of which considered Meduna a friend. She said that emotions will likely be running high the night of the performance, but that the choir has grown closer together through the process of learning the piece.
The choir performance will be held at the Williston High School at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. The concert is open to the public and the community is invited to attend.