The Sotogrande International School (SIS) choir aims to make a difference this Christmas by using their original song ‘Whole Lotta People’ to raise money to sponsor the education of children in Uganda. The choir, made up of 40 students from the ages of 11 to 17, came up with the idea as part of their ongoing support of the school NGO, The Kindred Project.
The Kindred Project is a unique student-driven, non-profit organisation with the firm goal of enabling and empowering students to use education as a force for good in the world.
As part of the ‘Send a Child to School’ project, students at SIS already sponsor 58 children in vulnerable situations in Uganda, and the choir wanted to take this one step further.
“What’s stopping us from making this 152, or even 1052?” says voice teacher and choir director, Laura Krier.
With The Kindred Project’s motto, ‘be the change’, ringing in their ears, they wondered if their song could be used to help raise funds to send even more children to school. Quick to support a new and optimistic idea, the music teachers rallied around and helped to prepare the single for release.
Which brings us to today, and the realisation of their dreams. In the words of The SIS Choir “This year we can all make a difference, the small (and hopefully enjoyable!) act of downloading our song has the power to transform lives. If we come together, we can BE THE CHANGE! We hope very much that you will help us and like, share and support our goal.”
Please help support The Kindred Project! Make a donation of any amount and download the MP3 of "Whole Lotta People"
Few things in life are more enjoyable than singing in a choir and THE SIS CHOIR is living proof of just that. All secondary vocal students at the SOTOGRANDE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL are encouraged to participate in this student-led activity that each year raises money for local and global projects supported by The Kindred Project.
The choir is organised by Laura Krier, Anne Marie Pettit and Kerry Wickersham.
Sotogrande International School (SIS) is a day and boarding school, based in the South of Spain, which follows the IB programme from 3-18 years. It is home to a passionate learning community who inspire and encourage learning and intercultural understanding, promoting education as a force for good in the world. With more than 1000 children from over 44 countries, SIS provides a challenging, nurturing and academically rigorous International education.
Throughout the IB programmes teachers aim to combine academic excellence with extraordinary educational experiences. Embracing the creative use of technology and authentic service experiences students are encouraged to think independently and critically, developing their own unique interests, gifts and talents and taking opportunities to be the best they can be.
“As a group of students determined to make a difference, we are so happy tohave been given the opportunity and support to release a song that will help send more children to school. Everyone has a right to an education.” – The SIS Choir
“How incredible to work alongside meaningful projects, that touch the lives of the people around us. We constantly strive to provide opportunities for our students to think about others, other than ourselves, this is needed within our current society. I feel honoured to have The Kindred Project within our school.”
Jak Kearney, Head & CEO of Sotogrande International School
“I am immensely proud of our student’s talents, dedication and compassion, knowing that the reciprocal benefits of this project are long lasting and lifechanging. What further proof is needed of the emotive power of music and how it can be used to improve lives? Having led service learning trips to Uganda and being fortunate enough to have met, in person, some of the beautiful people benefitting from this project, it gives huge hope and opportunities for young minds to succeed and make a positive difference in our shared world. This could not be achieved without the drive and passion of The Kindred Project and all those involved – for that, I thank you.”
Kerry Wickersham, Head of Music at Sotogrande International School.
The Kindred Project is a unique student-led Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) set up in 2010 by Sotogrande International School (SIS) with the goal of enabling and empowering students to use education as a force for good.
SIS strongly believes in encouraging the interdependence of individuals, societies and cultures and that proactive young people are key in creating positive change in the world. To achieve this, SIS set up The Kindred Project to encourage and support young people to be drivers of change in their communities and beyond.
To do so, The Kindred Project works with partners in Spain, Uganda, Ecuador and Morocco supporting them address challenges by increasing access to education and quality of education, developing and supporting local social
enterprise initiatives, as well as strengthening values of global citizenship, a key value within SIS.
The Kindred Project offers opportunities for our students to work hand in hand with the communities we support. These are valuable learning opportunities that have a positive impact for both students and our community partners alike; helping increase awareness of the world we live in, promote respect between different ways of life, whilst enabling students to make a difference.
“The Kindred Project is one of the first student-led NGOs to be formed in a school. What is remarkable is how much our students can achieve when they are empowered by dedicated teachers, parents and staff to use education as a force for good.” –
Paul Templeton, President to the Board of Trustees of The Kindred Project
“We certainly live in a challenging world, and in these days when the darkest side of the world is too often revealed… send in the students! It is truly inspirational.”
Valentina Stirling, Kindred Project Coordinator
SIMA was formed as a collaboration between Sotogrande International School (SIS) and MMI Production Studios (MMI). It functions as an add-on for the most dedicated music students at SIS, and it aims to prepare the best of the best for a potential music career, even while they’re in still school. In fact, a number of SIMA’s students have already secured record deals through MMI.
In the words of SIMA’s Paul Sedkowski, “Through our collaboration with SIS, a talented music student is able to develop at a good pace and to a really good standard, so that they will not only be technically prepared for what the music industry may have in store for them, but also mentally ready to handle a possible commercial music career while at the same time continuing their academic studies.”
SIMA has an on-site state-of-the-art studio, equipped by MMI and installed by SIS, as it able to produce not only demos but also release-ready musical products – such as “Whole Lotta People” for The SIS Choir, and more.
“Having taught in a handful of schools before SIS, the clear differential was the day I heard about The Kindred Project. I had never heard of anything like this before. It brought me to tears to hear the stories of these kids starting their own organisation, leading social enterprises and taking responsibility for supporting local and global initiatives and addressing these issues as one. To be able to contribute to The Kindred Project in my small way as a voice teacher and choir director is for me, my greatest achievement and my greatest joy. To quote some of our young primary students from The Kindred Project, ‘helping people makes me happy!’
The song “Whole Lotta People” was originally written by Paul Sedkowski in 1997 for one of his development artists, singer/guitarist Graham Keeling for his first album.
Years later, in fact, as late as mid-2018, Paul’s wife and head vocal coach at the SIS, herself a former recording artist, Laura Krier, told Paul that she’s looking for a “grand” and original song for the SIS choir and she suggested that Paul revive and partially re-write “Whole Lotta People”. She also requested that the song be slightly extended and rap parts added. She then added that the song would be used by the school’s exceptional and wonderful NGO THE KINDRED PROJECT.
Paul then reconstructed the song from the ground up and arranged it in a classic “big ballad” style – and Laura organised all the rehearsals and eventually funnelled everyone into the studio to record their takes. Laura also recruited SIS’s Film Teacher, Darren Mortimer, to film everyone’s performances. And here we are!
The song was written as an “empowerment message” for anyone going through hard times and has an uplifting and positive, even slightly philosophical message, which is why Laura thought it would be a perfect fit as a theme tune for the tremendous organization that is The Kindred Project.
Inspiration and the beneficiary of the song: The Kindred Project – Video production: Darren Mortimer – Album cover artwork: Maria Kostychenko Age 17 (D1) – Graphic design and photography: Sotogrande International School Marketing Team – Music & Vocal coach: Laura Krier – Assistant vocal coach: Anne Marie Pettit – Head of Music at SIS: Kerry Wickersham – Engineered, played & produced by: Paul Sedkowski – Song-writing (C) Paul Sedkowski (1997/2018) – Recorded at: SIMA Studio / MMI Studio 2 during Summer 2018 – Location: Sotogrande International School, Spain