CHARDON, Ohio - An alumna of Chardon High School is hoping a song she posted online about the shooting will raise money for the school.
Allison Piccioni graduated from CHS in 2006. She was in England on February 27, 2012, studying at college, when she heard about the deadly shooting at her alma mater.
At first, the news stunned her.
"It was quite disturbing because I know Chardon as a very warm, small town vibe… very comfortable and very safe," Piccioni said.
Eventually she felt the urge to do something, but Piccioni was not sure what she could do, being so far away -- overseas in Europe.
"It just really brought tears to my eyes that something like that could happen in our small town, I guess, so it just inspired me to try and give something back to help them pull through, especially on what marked the one month day of the shooting. And I actually got a lot of inspiration from my family," she said.
In the days that passed, a thought occurred to Piccioni.
"I was devastated at first. It took about a week to settle in. Then I called my mom and said I have this idea – a song for Chardon," she said.
Piccioni is in London to get her masters of music composition for screen at the Royal College of Music. Piccioni decided to turn her trade into aid.
Piccioni recorded a song called "We Are One Heartbeat" as a memorial to the victims and survivors of Chardon High. It was even played for students at the school.
"Pretty much just one big thank you, more than anything. I got one message from Chardon High that said there wasn't a dry eye in the classroom when it was played," she said.
Since she debuted the song online, Piccioni said she has gotten much more positive feedback.
"I have many emails and Facebook messages, stuff on Twitter, stuff from my website, people saying thank you so much, a couple of the students who were actually in the first period class and heard the song and said it was wonderful," she said.
Piccioni hopes to get 100,00 views on YouTube for her video. Once that happens, she will record and sell the track with all money donated to Chardon and the families of the victims.
"It takes something like a tragedy to bring everyone together, but it does," she noted.
Piccioni's website and a link to her video can be found here: http://on.wews.com/Hf5AYB
Three students were killed in the Chardon High School: Daniel Parmertor, 16; Russell King Jr., 17; and Demetrius Hewlin, 16. Three others were injured. Joy Rickers, 18, was hospitalized and Nick Walczak, 17, remains in treatment. Nate Mueller, 16, was grazed by a bullet.
In her song, Piccioni sings, "If somehow we could just take it back, / keep everyone safe, / the three that belong to the red and black / would be here today. / But we are brave."
The shooting suspect, TJ Lane, 17, remains in custody. He must undergo a mental evaluation before Geauga County Common Pleas Court can consider trying him as an adult.
In the wake of the tragedy at Chardon, Piccioni noted, "I think the biggest thing is, keep your chin up. Out of every dark day comes a bright one. It's really hard to get through, but we will. We're better than that, and Chardon will survive."