HARTSELLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Most people living in the state have picked their fandom: Auburn or Alabama. This is a story all can get behind: Mrs. Stephanie Porter is an Alabama graduate who teaches at F.E. Burleson Elementary, but her song is slated to play in an important Auburn game this fall.
It all started when Mrs. Porter began planning for last year’s school Veterans Day performance.
“Every Veterans Day song that I found didn’t mention anything about the draft and I thought that was really odd because the kids need to know about that,” she said.
Porter is a composer in addition to being a teacher, so she began to write a piece that she feels could pay respect to those in her family who were drafted.
“My grandfather was a signalman in the Navy, World War II, and my husband’s father was in the marines, Korea. His brother died in Vietnam,” she said.
She wrote the lyrics and melody in a few months, then passed the piece to her husband who composes for a living. He wrote the backing track for her song, titled “So We can be Free.”
It was performed at the school’s parade and the support, Porter said, was overwhelming.
“We invite veterans to our performances and I was invited by several with tears in their eyes who said, ‘thank you, that meant a lot,'” she said. “[It was] very emotional. Any time any of my pieces are performed it gives me a little bit of emotion but this one was a little more special.”
Stephanie’s husband, Shane Porter, has done work for the Auburn University Marching Band in the past. He sent the piece to the school’s band director to get his thoughts.
“[He replied,] ‘I’ve got so many ideas, we’re using this. Were going to have a choir of kids on the field and we’re going to go for it,'” Porter remembered.
The song is set to be played during the Auburn-Texas A&M game during halftime on November 12. The game and halftime performance will be dedicated to Veterans Day.
“It’s a big venue and I don’t even know how to describe this,” she said. “It’s very humbling to have this experience and have my work featured.”
Porter and her husband will be on the sidelines for the performance. She hopes those in the stands remember who the song is written for.
“It’s not just our families, but all the people that we lost and who are still with us so that we honor their memory,” she said.