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City co-stars in music video shoot

Canadian singer’s agent made suggestion.

When vocalist and songwriter Michael Gabriel planned a music video for the first single from his upcoming CD, he could have gone the easy route through Los Angeles, where resources are plentiful.

Instead, he listened to his agent.

Kathy Kern-Ross, who only recently moved to Springfield, where her spouse, Lou Ross, is the Springfield Symphony Orchestra’s executive director, suggested her new town as the setting.

Local talent rallied to shoot the video for “Staring Ceilings” on the warm day of Monday, July 25, at locations including Veterans Park, Snyder Park, the Springfield Museum of Art and, of course, downtown Springfield.

“The stars aligned. Springfield has some amazing locations and talent,” said Kern-Ross, who is also president of Kaleidoscope Entertainment, Inc.

They used a downtown building rooftop where a drone filmed the video’s opening scene. Thirty local dancers, singers from the Springfield Symphony youth and adult chorales, and musicians from the youth symphony also participated in the video.

After viewing one of his YouTube videos, Kern-Ross tapped Springfield native Rod Hatfield to direct the music video along with Brian Traylor, co-coordinator with YouMedia Springfield of the Greater Springfield CareerConnectED Center, as cinematographer, along with student Mustafa Haleem supporting.

As if Gabriel had any regret about the decision, he said he wished they’d shot multiple videos that day.

“I equate this to a good song that comes together quickly,” Gabriel said of the experience. “It’s the same with the logistics. I met Rod and had a great meeting, went to the locations and everything came together. I’m thoroughly impressed.”

Gabriel is Canadian and describes his music as rooted in the singer/songwriter vein. He described “Staring Ceilings” as a personal song, based on his experience of being constantly on the road performing his orchestral concert series , having an almost dazed look and at times staring at ceilings.

The video will display numerous art forms coming together, including visual, music and dance.

The creative team worried the previous Friday when heavy storms passed through during the Lunch on the Lawn concert at the Museum of Art. That’s when executive director Ann Fortescue offered it as a home base and location for the shoot.

Dancers from Fairborn’s Miami Valley Dance Center and Dance Expressions helped echo some of “Staring Ceilings’” lyrics as they performed in the Museum of Art’s McGregor Gallery among several works from the Juried Art Show currently on display.

“The dance sequence felt like a perfect fit,” said Gabriel, who describes his music sound as intimate with a big orchestral-based sound.

Amy Jones of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company choreographed the dance.

“It has been a lot of fun, and being from here, being familiar with the scenic locations and architecture, I feel proud to showcase the city,” Hatfield said.

This is the second music video made in the area within a year. The Kate Hasting Band shot its video for the song “Behind the Bleachers” at Northwestern High School in October 2015.

Kern-Ross said “Staring Ceilings” will be released in the late fall, as will Gabriel’s album, which has the working title “Alabama Sky.”

The video project is being financed by a GoFundMe donation project.

Contact this contributing writer at

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