Fight Or Flight?
September 9, 2006, Hope to Cope and Feel the Music! are a featured story on the CBS Early Show with Katie Couric, including live footage from the recording session, how the song “Fight” ‘came to be’, interviews with several participants and with Feel the Music! founder/Executive Director, Valerie Ghent and more:
Almost every teenager dreams of being a rock star. But the band that 16-year-old cousins Pat and Kathy Gorman formed is not some rock ‘n’ roll fantasy.
“All of us have been through something, and we’ve overcome it,” Kathy says. “I think coming together and making this group has kind of brought us together in a way and helped us just really just move on and put the past behind us.”
They call themselves Hope 2 Cope — a group of teenagers using music as their emotional safety valve after having lost a family member to tragedy; like Pat, who lost his dad, Tom Gorman, on 9/11, reports CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.
“It’s definitely a way to get out how you feel another way besides words. If you can’t put words to it, you can always put notes to it,” Pat explains.
The woman behind the music is Valerie Ghent, a professional musician and native New Yorker, who volunteered at ground zero — and somehow, amid thick smoke and choking dust, found a way to shine.
“While I was volunteering at the site, I met a lot of firefighters and police officers who were musicians and poets, and I was involved with a children’s music organization. And I was thinking about how the pieces went together,” Ghent says.
So Ghent founded “Feel The Music,” an interactive workshop that offers free music lessons, taught by professional musicians, to children and teens who lost parents on 9/11. And when she met Pat and Kathy Gorman, it was perfect harmony.
“We went out to New Jersey and met with them. And — we said, ‘Hey, what do you guys wanna do?’ They wanna write a song. OK, great.”
It started with what Valerie calls Pat’s great guitar riff.
Then came Kathy vocalizing some verses.
They call their song “Fight.”
“It’s kinda like a theme song to what our group is doing,” Pat says.
He believes the song’s message is to be resilient and to “keep on trying and get over it — kind of fight — fight the urge to just give up.”
But “Fight” isn’t just an anthem for the children of 9/11. The group says it can be an outlet for any kid just hoping to cope.
“I think what’s very important to them is giving a message of healthy coping,” Ghent says. “And if they can get it played wherever they can to get the message out, this is what they’re doing to send the message to other teens that they’re not alone. It’s actually part of what I think the healing process is about.”
Kathy Gorman concludes: “Even if we could reach out to one person with this song, we think we have reached a goal. Because that’s what the song’s really all about. It’s just reaching out and fighting something that you’ve been through.”
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