[caption id="attachment_29819" align="aligncenter" width="1400"]<img class="size-full wp-image-29819" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2017\/09\/Choirs-Present-check-to-recovery-committee.jpg" alt="" width="1400" height="1050" \/> With members of the Greenbrier East Choir in the background, Head Principal of GEHS Ben Routson (far left) stands with Sam Spears, Barbara Lutz, Allison Wilson, Rosie Ketchum, and Greater Greenbrier Valley Long Term Recovery Committee members Kayla McCoy (program coordinator) and Matt Ford (co-vice chair) as the check is presented.[\/caption]\r\n<h1>When devastating floods ravaged West Virginia on June 23 of last year, there was an outpouring of support from across the state and around the nation.<\/h1>\r\nLike many of his fellow West Virginians, Sam Spears, the director of choral and vocal activities at Fairmont State University, wanted to do something for those whose lives had been upended by the tragedy.\r\n\r\nAlthough he wasn\u2019t sure what form his assistance would take, Spears knew that comfort could be found in music. He did not know people in all of the areas affected by the floods, but he was acquainted with Barbara Lutz, the director of choral music at Greenbrier East High School. Greenbrier County was one of the areas hardest hit by the floods, with 15 deaths and hundreds of people forced from their homes.\r\n\r\nSpears reached out to Lutz, who was struggling to find ways to help her students deal with the loss of their homes, and in some cases, neighbors, family members, and friends. It took a while for the two to come up with an idea that resonated with them and the students. They finally decided that bringing both choirs together to sing music that spoke to their hearts was a way to help the high school students process their grief and to give the college students a deeper understanding and empathy for what their younger counterparts had experienced.\r\n\r\nLutz held a contest among her students to pick a name for the project, and the winner was the idea of choir member Rosie Ketchum - the Healing Through Harmony Tour. The logo for the tour was designed by choir member Allison Wilson. The combined choirs went on a concert tour in Lewisburg, Rupert, Charleston, Fairmont, and Morgantown earlier this year.\r\n\r\nLutz invited her students to help select music for this unique effort, and their selections reflect the theme of the project, the redeeming power of music. The selections included Dan Forrest\u2019s \u201cAlway Something Sings,\u201d based on a text by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the uplifting hymn, \u201cHow Can I Keep From Singing.\u201d\r\n\r\n\u201cWorking on this concert has made my students thankful for what music can do for you. When you sing, you feel better. It has a healing ability. When you join your voices, you lift yourself above the pain,\u201d Lutz said.\r\n\r\nOn Thursday, Sept. 21, the choirs of Greenbrier East presented a check in the amount of $2,264 to the Greater Greenbrier Long Term Recovery Committee. The funds are a result of the combined music tour that the GEHS choir took with the Fairmont State University Choirs in April of this year. The students spread the word that music, specifically singing, has the power to lift us out of circumstances of pain and devastation. \u201cI strongly believe that learning and singing the music we selected gave our students an opportunity to express their complicated emotions regarding the flood in a way that they didn\u2019t realize was possible,\u201d Lutz added.