Mercy High School Students ‘Roar’ For Katy Perry Concert Contest

MIDDLETOWN — Mercy High School students and staff are hoping to hear good news this week about their entry into Good Morning America’s “ROAR With Katy Perry” contest.

Students at the all-girls’ Catholic school made their video just after school started at the beginning of September. The winning school will host a concert later this month by the pop mega-star.

Entries were due Oct. 1, and the first finalist, Verrado High School in Arizona, was announced Monday morning.

“We were in the right place at the right time,” said Marie Kalita-Leary, the director of communications at Mercy. “We already had plans to make a video in September. We had another song in mind until we heard Roar after it was released in August.”

Perry’s song carries an inspirational message of female empowerment. The lyrics describe a shy, quiet girl’s rise to a confident woman with a roar “louder than a lion.”

Mercy senior Abigail Nolan of Middletown said the project is more than a simple contest entry for the students.

“Being an all-girls school it really fits with what we’re taught here and our values,” Nolan said. “It really embodies our school spirit and our commitment to community service and our clubs and sports.”

Nolan plays the role of a Mercy student giving a tour to a first-year student in the video.

“It was really cool to work on it and see everyone’s school spirit,” she said of participating in the video production.

The video was originally intended to be a part of the school’s 50th anniversary celebration in the spring, as well as a part of the ongoing accreditation review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

“We went with the theme of a quick four years,” Kalita-Leary said. “You might come in as a shy freshwoman and you leave after four years as an empowered woman.”

Kalita-Leary said the contest was an unexpected opportunity to share the video with the community.

The four-minute video was cut down to meet the two-minute contest requirement. The full video is a showcase of the school’s sports, music, clubs and academic programs and includes the majority of the Catholic high school’s students and faculty.

“It’s a great way to show the school,” Kalita-Leary said. “We’re the Tigers, so it was perfect. We have the eye of the tiger.”

On Monday morning Mercy’s video had more than 8,000 views on YouTube.

“Now we wait. But no matter what, we had fun,” Kalita-Leary said.

Text By Shawn R. Beals, Hartford Courant; Video By Audrey Kuchen, Fox CT

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