The Hotchkiss Song Project: Elijah Stone ’20


David Li ’21

Elijah Stone ’20 started The Hotchkiss Song Project at the start of this school year.

This year, Elijah Stone ’20 started The Hotchkiss Song Project, a student-run musical collaboration. Aiming to represent the student body with music, Stone welcomed ideas for songs, stories, lyrics, and poems for an album that he will assemble. The Arts and Leisure section explores his project by featuring him in this issue.

What is the Song Project?
I started The Hotchkiss Song Project this year with the goal of producing an album with student-written and student-performed music.

Why did you start the project?
In my time at Hotchkiss, I’ve been really inspired by how students have used their skills and interests to benefit the community. This past summer, I started thinking about how I could start something to positively impact our school. I’ve always been interested in music composition and production, and I knew that I could find other students with similar interests.
After I thought of the idea, I needed to get people excited about it. With the help of Ms. Gardiner, I decided that a Chapel Talk would stand out more than, say, an all-school email. Writing the talk forced me to articulate my vision for the project, which was a great exercise. I spoke in November and found that students were enthusiastic about the idea.
Were there any challenges? If so, how did you overcome them?
At Hotchkiss, we are all busy. It’s been hard for [many] students to dedicate a significant amount of time to my project. To combat this challenge, I’ve had to do extra work on the back end to minimize the time necessary for all the contributors (i.e. having a song ready for a singer to come in and sing right away).

What stands out to you about this project?
The most amazing part of this project is the students who are involved. The final product will showcase many talented students, all with completely different lives and backgrounds. For me, it’s been a fascinating experience to work with such a wide variety of individuals towards a common goal. For the contributors, I hope this project serves as an outlet to be vulnerable, whether that means sharing a personal story, recording a whole song alone, or singing when you never have before.

In what way do you think your project will impact the community?
One of the primary goals of my project has been to capture a year of Hotchkiss. I want the album to represent what this student body sounds like. Eventually, I hope to print a vinyl copy of the album and give it to the library as a permanent record of our [community].