Aaron Brophy for AOL Somewhere between the burgeoning arena rock of 1991's…
- Posted on Dec 23rd 2011 4:00PM by Aaron Brophy
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"Wow. That just made me bawl my eyes out. What beautiful singers. I'm not worthy," Case posted on Twitter after watching Kate and Janelle's version. "Holy God."
Case wouldn't be the first person to shed tears over the cover, though.
"We were practicing songs to play in the spring talent show at our school and we had been playing this other song and we just one day learned to play 'Star Witness' together," Macdonald tells Spinner.
"Then we asked our old guitar teacher just to listen and tell us if we sucked. So we played the one song and he's like, 'Oh yeah, you sound good. That's fine.' And then we played 'Star Witness' and he cried. We've never seen him cry before. And he ran and got the principal of the school to come and we had to play it again, and she cried. So we're like, 'OK, this is the song we've got to sing, I guess.'
"It has an impact on people, I guess. He's a grown man."
Case was so moved by Kate and Janelle's performance she invited the pair, along with the crew who helped film the video, to her Dec. 10th show in Kingston, her closest gig to Peterborough on this tour.
"At the concert, her very last ovation song she dedicated to us and told us to come backstage afterwards," says Blanchard.
"She was crying and hugging us. It was just an amazing experience. She's one of the most genuine people I've met. She's so nice. It was amazing."
Case's backup singer Kelly Hogan also threw her support behind the pair and their cause, tweeting: "You guys are AWESOME +++ so glad you could make it to the show! keep fighting for your school & keep us posted!"
"For me, it was totally life-changing because I could actually go into the school, and a lot of the teachers that worked there and stuff are also musicians, actors, dancers, artists, and for me to walk down the hallway in school and have other people there that I could relate to personally as an artist, not only the students, but the teachers, I felt comfortable," says Ryder, who graduated "around 2000."
"I loved going to school. I actually stayed an extra year. I'm not joking. I loved it."
The school, situated in the heart of the small city's downtown core, is more than just an "arts" school its supporters argue. It also houses a large ESL program, and as Macdonald says, "is a place free of homophobic bullying. There are so many openly gay, bi, and transgendered students who can do their thing and be who they are without fear of intolerant peers."
When she was a student, Ryder actually transferred schools to attend PCVS and says it changed her life. Macdonald feels the same way.
"It was great for me because I really struggled in high school," says Macdonald. "This was maybe my fourth high school that I went to, and this was the only place that I really did well. I was able to graduate after six years at age 20. Finally. But with honours. Instead of failing, which I had done all the way through because of the atmosphere and the teachers and the support."
Though the school is still officially being scheduled to close, these voices are definitely being heard. Ontario's Ministry of Education recently appointed someone to review the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board's decision to close the school. In the meantime, PCVS supporters are planning a big gala concert on Feb. 26 featuring Ryder headlining a bill that also features the Silver Hearts, fellow school alumni and past Juno nominees Jimmy Bowskill and the Avenues, Kate and Janelle, and other PCVS students.
Says Ryder, "There's a bunch of different bands that are going to be playing. I know the Silver Hearts are playing, who are amazing. They were my first band that I was kind of like a groupie of. I think it's really just a bunch of people getting together in support of keeping PCVS open. And also a really great rock show."