Performing Arts

This Parkland duo’s song has Britney and a Beatle all a-twitter

Marjory Stoneman Douglas drama students Andrea Peña (at the piano) and Sawyer Garrity (singing) perform their song ‘Shine’ at the CNN Town Hall on Feb. 21, 2018.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas drama students Andrea Peña (at the piano) and Sawyer Garrity (singing) perform their song ‘Shine’ at the CNN Town Hall on Feb. 21, 2018. CNN screen grab

Two Marjory Stoneman Douglas drama students who survived the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting poured their grief into an inspirational ballad they wrote to benefit victims of the tragedy.

Now the warm, piano-based tune written by Sawyer Garrity, 16, and Andrea Peña, 15, is being heard — and touted — by some pretty big names.

Paul McCartney retweeted @ShineMSD’s tweet about the song. Was it an endorsement? We can tell you the former Beatle doesn’t say “RTs are not an endorsement” on his Twitter bio. (Kids, McCartney was a big deal. Ask your parents.)

Britney Spears went even further, tweeting to her 57 million followers that she was “feeling so inspired by #SHINE, a song written and performed by students from Stoneman Douglas who survived the tragedy in Parkland.” The pop star even linked to the tune, noting that its proceeds will benefit Stoneman Douglas student survivors.

The goal of the new nonproft #ShineMSD at the Broward Education Foundation is to help students by healing through the arts and local mental health programs.

The erstwhile Beatle and Britney aren’t alone. Classical crossover vocalist Andrea Bocelli also tweeted a message of support to help promote the tune, which the girls introduced live during the CNN-sponsored Town Hall from Sunrise’s BB&T Center on Feb. 21. Garrity and Peña’s “Shine” also figured at the March 24 March For Our Lives rally in Washington. Next, the young women will perform the song Monday at South Florida’s regional theater Carbonnell Awards at Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

Miley Cyrus, who performed at the Washington rally, called the song “a powerful message of change, healing and hope,” and Justin Bieber agreed, writing “This is great” in a retweet of Cyrus’ post, Billboard reported.

“It’s amazing that other artists that we personally can look up to are now giving their support,” Andrea told the Sun Sentinel. “It means the world.”

Rolling Stone covered the song’s release to iTunes, Spotify and other streaming platforms.

The magazine said the song, which was written a day after the shooting, “runs the spectrum of grief, as the students move from anger (You ruined this town/You burned all of the bridges, and you slowly let us drown) to resiliency (We’re putting up a fight/You may have brought the dark, but together we will shine the light).

“Our performance was dedicated to anyone who has suffered gun violence to let them know that we are here for you, we love you, and we stand with you,” Peña tweeted after performing “Shine” with Garrity at the Washington rally. “We are the future; change will come!”

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Hear ‘Shine’ live

What: Stoneman Douglas students Sawyer Garrity and Andrea Peña will perform their song “Shine” at the 42nd annual Carbonell Awards ceremony

Where: Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale

When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 2. The pair are scheduled to perform at about 8:45 p.m. during the event

Tickets: $25, through 954-462-0222 or