Radio Disney Star Daya Comes to Jericho


The George A. Jackson Elementary School won the 2016 Radio Disney Music in Our Schools contest and had celebrity singer Daya visit to perform for the students.


Daya, center, visited Jericho High School after Jackson Elementary School won the Radio Disney Music in Our Schools contest.

Jackson Elementary School heard of the Radio Disney and Music in Our Schools contest when they were researching activities to celebrate Music in Our School’s Month in March. The video they submitted was originally made at Jackson’s Curriculum Fair in December. “We decided that we should enter it into the contest since the students worked so hard on the project,” said Jackson’s music teacher Ms. Gonnella. 

On April 15, 2016, Jackson students from kindergarten to fourth grade enthusiastically entered the new Jericho Middle School/High School auditorium dressed in matching concert t-shirts, while 5th graders met with Daya and Radio Disney host Candice Heckeba in the middle school cafeteria for a Q&A session.


Senior Bela K., right, and her little brother Vivek were so excited to get a photo with Daya, Candice, and the Ardy trophy.

After the fifth graders filed back into the auditorium, Candice came out on stage to begin the show. Along with other representatives from the Give a Note Foundation, she presented Jackson Principal Mr. D’Aquila a check for $2,500 which was donated  to another school in need. Music teacher Ms. Gonella said, “At Jackson, our students and faculty are aware how fortunate we are to have an abundance of supplies for our music department. Therefore, we decided that in the spirit of giving back and keeping with the theme of the song we performed in the video we submitted, ‘We Are the World,’ it would be appropriate to donate the money to a school in need.” 


Ms. Gonnella, left, created the video that won the Music In Our Schools contest.

The concert then formally began with Ms. Gonnella conducting the chorus performing the songs “All in This Together” and “Colors of the Wind” with numerous students from the Frank E. Thompson Middle School in Newport, Rhode Island also participating. The Frank E. Thompson Middle School was invited because the Jackson staff believed that it would be good sportsmanship to invite the competing school.

The students were excited to see Daya perform after their own choral performance. She sang multiple songs including her hit single, “Hideaway” while many of the students sang along.

To conclude the night, students lined up to meet and be photographed with Daya and Candice.


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