A wave of children stormed through the doors of George Washington Educational Campus in New York City on Friday (Dec. 9) to watch artist/producer Pharrell Williams partner up with AMP UP NYC’s music initiative to deliver a captivating performance for its local community.
Unaware that the “Happy” singer would show face at their concert, a bevy of sixth graders from The Equity Project Charter School’s music band skated through two new songs both written by Williams for the upcoming film Hidden Figures. After gliding through “I See a Victory,” they dived right into his second song, “Runnin’” -- a song Williams released back in October -- for their concert attendees. As they began performing, TEP’s music director Alan Davis halted the performance to surprise everyone with their concert’s special guest, Pharrell.
Welcomed by loud cheers and teary-eyed students, the music savant emerged from the back of the stage and greeted each child who contributed to the performance. Shaken by his presence onstage, 12-year-old Jayri Alvarez caved during her performance and broke down into tears. “I was so confused at first because when Mr. Davis -- who’s my teacher -- said, ‘Oh, Pharrell. Come on out.’ I was like, ‘No! This is not happening. He’s not coming out. How did they manage to put this all together?” she told Billboard.