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Ben Long / Submitted photo

Watch a local high schooler perform an original song Friday that might just help you ‘Find Your Way Again’

BUCKHANNON – A local Notre Dame High School student will have an original song featured in the Ghostlight Series: High School Edition Episode 2 on the Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center Facebook page and on their YouTube Channel at 7 p.m. March 12.

Ben is the son of David and Susan Long of Buckhannon, a senior at Notre Dame High School and a member of the Performing Arts Conservatory at Notre Dame High School. Long composed and wrote an original song called “Find Your Way Again” that will be featured in the second episode of a virtual series offered during the pandemic in the month of March to celebrate “Arts in Our Schools Month.”

Long will be featured singing and playing the original composition on the piano, but it won’t be live. In fact, all the performances in the series are pre-recorded and the videos are being posted on the Clarksburg-based Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center’s Facebook page and on their YouTube Channel.

Long explained how the original song developed in an interview with My Buckhannon this week.

“It’s meant to be an uplifting song,” Long said. “I wrote it for myself, and I think the message is a really uplifting one and a really important one for a lot of people. I think all of us are going through something right now. It’s a ‘keep going’ kind of message, so I hope when people hear the song, it inspires them and uplifts them because that’s what it does for me.”

Long said he has worked on original songs before, but this will be the first time one is performed publicly.

“I didn’t go into the Ghostlight Series intending to do an original song and then I had the thought, ‘hey, what if I wrote a song for this?’ and I sat down and started working on this song,” Long said. “The more I worked on it, the more I fell in love with it, and the message is really important, so it felt like this was a really good opportunity to share that message with people.”

Long’s first experience in the theater occurred when he participated in the musical “Oliver” for Buckhannon Community Theatre.

“It was that musical that really jumpstarted everything for me,” he said. “I was only I think 10 or 11 when that happened, and I didn’t know the depth of everything, but I think that was what really got me into music and into theater as well.”

His experiences at Notre Dame encouraged his musical talent, and he said he grew because of his experiences at the Performing Arts Conservatory at Notre Dame High School.

“I was in the musicals that Notre Dame did, and it was a really welcoming environment, and Jason Young is an amazing person, an amazing director,” Long said. “The music directors, Sarah Nale and Josh Stubbs, are both amazing and they invited us to join and to be a part of it and over the time I’ve been there, it’s really grown a lot. I’m really grateful that I’ve gotten to be a part of that program growing and this year, after I graduate, I know that I’m passing it on to a lot of really talented young artists.”

He said if a young artist aspires to performing music then they shouldn’t let anything stop them.

“I think music can be a very personal thing,” Long said. “I also think it takes a lot for someone to be able to stand up and express themselves in that kind of way, so I have nothing but admiration for the people who can take a piece of music they’ve written that’s very deeply personal and is very intimate to them and share that with people. I think the advice I have for people who want to do that is, it’s your voice and it’s your choice to share it, so don’t let anything get in your way.”

Tune in to check out Long’s performance here or here at 7 p.m. Friday, March 12.

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