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BCSD staff members perform "I Want You Back"

A group of BCSD teachers came together in recent weeks to cover "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5.

Published on Tuesday, April 28, 2020

A group of staff musicians around the district have a simple message for their students amidst social distancing: they want their students back.

These musicians came together in recent weeks to create a special music video (see link above). The video consists of nine squares, each square showing the staff members performing the instrumental parts of “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 out of their homes.

The following musicians make up the video:


成人自拍视频Flute - Swati Linder, band director at Marrington Middle

Clarinet - Cassie Cowdrey, music teacher at Berkeley Intermediate

Saxophone - Ryan Westberry, strings teacher at Sedgefield Middle

Trumpet - Ronnie Ward, band director at Westview Middle

成人自拍视频Trumpet - Derek Classey, band director at Philip Simmons Middle

Trombone - Gerard Stokes, music teacher at Whitesville Elementary

Guitar - Michael Kaufman, music teacher at Cainhoy and Cane Bay Elementary

Bass - Kevin Gossett, music teacher at Sangaree Elementary

Drums - David Carter, Director of Education and Outreach at Charleston Jazz Academy (also a former BCSD band director and BCSD student)


成人自拍视频Staff members said the video is Westberry’s brainchild. It took about two weeks to put the video together using an app called Acapella.

成人自拍视频Westberry said he had been experimenting with the app as a way to model musical concepts for his orchestra students at Sedgefield Middle.

He said his first collaboration was with his school’s band director, John Spitler. At an online meeting with band directors soon after, Spitler and Westberry shared their video, and more teachers expressed interest in collaborating.

Once the band was established, Westberry turned to the music.

“Our all-county jazz band began studying ‘I Want You Back’ before school buildings were closed,” he said. “It is a classic and I thought we could use the piece to serve as a demonstration to our students. Even while we are separated, there are ways to collaborate with others and create.”

Westberry said the technology was new to many of the band members and they struggled through the process.

成人自拍视频“This is something I shared with my students as I want them to understand that failure is part of learning,” he said. “We all experience the pain of failure at some level while we are growing.”

成人自拍视频Stokes said he was able to view some of Westberry’s personal Acapella recordings so he could understand the goal. Westberry created a recording schedule for the others to follow and ensured he would be the final participant so that he could edit the song into his presentation.

“I am extremely humbled to play with such a great group of music educators and performers,” Stokes said. “The song that was chosen truly does echo my feelings. This is not normal, my heart longs for the community that we have built in our schools. I want my students back.”

成人自拍视频Now Westberry is eager to try it again.

“Hopefully, we are providing inspiration for our students and giving our communities a reason to smile during a time that is very stressful,” he said.

Classey said sometimes it is hard to explain how one feels through words alone.

成人自拍视频“I was hoping to tell my students that I miss them and can’t wait to see them again through this collaboration,” he said.

Linder said the message is simple.

成人自拍视频“We want our students, our schools, our communities back,” Linder said. “However, before we go back, it has given me time to pause and spend time doing what got me eager to be a teacher in the first place…making music with friends.”