Professional football players were on the verge of tears when a group of 26 children who escaped the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary Schoolto sing "America the Beautiful."
The performance last week was one of many musical tributes to the victims of the, some put on by world famous performers, others by local musicians, and many involving the children of Newtown, Conn.
Members of the Newtown High School chamber choir performed with dozens of Broadway stars including Brian Stokes Mitchell, Christine Ebersole and even Monkees frontman Micky Dolenz at a benefit show, "From Broadway with Love," on Jan. 27 in Waterbury, Conn.
Sabrina Post brought students from her performing arts school in Newtown to the nearby home recording studio of former Talking Head and TomTom Club band members Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, where they recorded a version of "Over the Rainbow" with folk singer Ingrid Michaelson.
"One little girl, her neighbor died," Post said. "And she said she thinks of her as singing with us when she sings."
The song rose to No. 12 on iTunes and to No. 2 on Amazon.com, said Tim Hayes, who co-produced the recording.
The children also have been asked to perform this Sunday for the, a segment that will air from Newtown. They also sang last month during a two-day concert event at the Ridgefield Playhouse, where other performers included Johnny Winters, Paul Shaffer and Paul Simon, who also sang at the funeral of Newtown teacher Victoria Soto.
Also this Sunday, a free concert will be held in Ridgefield, Conn. Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame helped organize the event after speaking with the family of Ben Wheeler, one of the children who died.
That and many other events have raised thousands of dollars for various Newtown-related causes, such as mental health care for the first responders, or children's programs at the local sports center. More than 50 local bands performed in clubs around Hartford one day last month to benefit the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.