HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The musical director at Lee High School received a big surprise Friday.
As the students worked on their production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the theatre company learned that teacher, Tyler Henderson, can't see colors.
The students decided to raise money and ended up purchasing special glasses allowing the second-year teacher and Lee High alumnus to see in color for the first time. They took video of the experience and shared it on social media and with WHNT News 19.
In the video, you can see students leading Henderson into the room. The troupe is singing a song from the show.
Henderson appears overcome with emotion as he puts the glasses on for the first time.
"Yeah, it works!" he says in the video, as students laugh and cheer. "Thank you so much. Guys, thank you," he says, and students rush to embrace him in a group hug among the multi-colored balloons by his feet.
The glasses got to the school earlier than expected, so the students were able to give him the gift on Friday. They organized the entire thing, and even invited his mom to be there for the moment.
Two days later, Henderson is still overwhelmed.
“For about 6 or 8 hours after I got the glasses, I had trouble putting them on without getting teared up.”
Raising the money was a labor of love for Tyler’s students.
Lee junior Matthew Becker told us “it's changed his life in a way, and we were happy to do it for him."
Junior Ariana Brown says the students reacted quickly to raising the money for Tyler’s glasses.
“Hey, if you can donate any money, if you can do anything to help contribute to this we would love to do this for Mr. Henderson and everybody’s like yes, I would love to help. So we got the money, she paid for some of it on her own, and we were able to present it to him on Friday and it was so amazing. It was incredible.”
She said that it's all in the hopes that once they do their performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the end of the month, their teacher can see the show in full color.
"He`s talked about it before but he hasn't been able to see the full technicolor effect of the show. And now that he has it. It`s not just in the costume, the costumes are vibrant, it`s also the lighting and the tech that is added to it, now he gets to see all the elements put together and just give it that last little spark," she said.
For Tyler Henderson, the day his students gave him the glasses will be with him for a long time.
“I was really really overwhelmed. I couldn’t really hold it in," said Henderson. "And I just tried-- the only thing I tried to say to as many of them as possible was that I loved them and how grateful I was, and that was about the only words I was able to get out at the time.”
The theatre troupe posted on Facebook, "You helped us see our colors. Now, we're helping you see yours."