The ending of one chapter can be a bittersweet feeling; however, members of the Class of 2020 experienced more bitter than sweet thanks to the COVID 19 pandemic that closed schools for two months, canceled proms and postponed graduations.
Senior Shane Breece channeled his frustration into an anthem for his class and to his surprise it went far beyond the halls of Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville. Television personality and Governor Mike Huckabee called Breece’s song “Finale,” both “touching and powerful” while featuring it on his May 16 show.
Breece has attended Merrol Hyde his entire high school career. He said he was fortunate to take a senior trip before Tennessee Governor Bill Lee closed schools at the end of March. “My class went to Charleston, South Carolina. We had a beach day, we toured the town and we got to do a zip lining ropes course,” he shared.
When students were advised they would not be returning to school, his feelings were mixed to say the least.
“I was glad to have some time off from the stresses of school, but I was scared for my graduation,” he said. “This experience taught me that I took school for granted because I truly appreciated all the memories I made.”
Breece has been playing the piano since age 5. He also sings and writes songs. One night in less than two hours he penned “Finale.” It was initially to play for his parents, Kelly and Mike.
“Usually a song will take a few days to write but sometimes a song like this will just flow from my mind onto paper because the thoughts and emotions are fresh,” Breece explained. “Finale’ is composed of the thoughts and emotions through this unsure period of life that I know all seniors are sharing right now.”
“Finale” follows a young person who has worked hard for 12 years and is scared that they will never have closure. Breece sings that he was “waiting for the big reveal but the curtains aren’t opening” and “this ending seems so unreal, I’m the only one on the edge of my seat.”
With permission from his principal, Darren Frank, he was able to use the school in late April to shoot a music video, which can be found on Youtube.
“My mom and dad helped greatly in the process – my dad being the camera man and my mom directing the shots,” he said. “Trevor George did an outstanding job editing and making the video truly cinematic.”
Breece is still waiting to hear what plans his school has for graduation but is thankful they are still planning a ceremony. His plans for college are to attend Vol State for two years, studying professional music, and then transfer to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro to finish his degree in commercial songwriting.
“Ultimately, my dream is to be a successful songwriter and performer,” he said, adding that he is grateful for the praise this song has received. “I never thought it would catch the traction that it did. The recognition that I’ve received is something I could only dream of.”