Over 50 Alumni Sing 'Seasons Of Love' For Their Choir Director Who Has Cancer

"There is not a doubt in my mind that this significantly lifted her spirits during this difficult time."

For many alumni of the Rocky Mountain High School (RMHS) choir, Barbara Lueck wasn't just their choir director — she was "Mama Lu."  So when Lueck was diagnosed with a form of cancer called Leiomyosarcoma, over 50 of her former students rallied together to present her with a very special performance.

Together, the performers gathered at their old auditorium to sing "Seasons of Love" from the Broadway musical, Rent. Those who couldn't be there submitted themselves singing on video. Doug Usher, who attended RMHS from 1997 to 2000, co-organized the event with another alumna, Amanda Huner. Usher also filmed and produced a final video of the performance to show Mama Lu. 

"[Mama Lu] was hugely influential to me during high school (and beyond)," Usher tells A Plus, adding that he found out about her diagnosis a couple of months ago. He and a group of alumni spoke on Facebook to "figure out what we could do show our love and support." 

"We didn't want to overwhelm her by having a steady stream of students showing up at her door, so I suggested we create a video that we could then send to her," Usher says.  

Usher explains that the group chose to sing "Seasons of Love" considering its relevance to their high school years. Most people knew it well, he says.

"It also was just the perfect fit for what we wanted to express - for us, high school is this tiny little season of our lives, and music/choir was a huge bonding experience. It was our family during that time, and Mama Lu was the mom. When we think back on those few years, it's the love of music and the friendships that formed because of it that stands out the most."

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Usher adds that the performance brought together so many people who hadn't seen each other in over a decade. 

"It was just so cool to see all these people back together on the stage that was so formative in our youth. Everyone just had an incredible time."

Afterward, Usher and Huner took the video to Mama Lu to surprise her. They filmed her reaction as she watched the finished product.

"She was overwhelmed to say the least. And I think still remains that way. There is not a doubt in my mind that this significantly lifted her spirits during this difficult time."

Video by Doug Usher

Usher's video has since been shared to Facebook, where members of the community and beyond have shared their own words about Mama Lu. 

"So many memories in the two years I was in choir with Mama Lu. Such a big, warm-hearted person. Much love, hugs and many healing prayers for a very strong woman. You can pull through this. Hugs and love," one person writes on the Poudre School District's Facebook page, for example. 

When asked what this experience has been like on a personal level, Usher says it all became something he "just felt he had to do," despite being pressed for time. 

"But it was something I felt deeply that I needed to make happen. I had a very difficult time in high school, particularly in my first year, and Mama Lu is probably the single biggest reason that my high school experience turned out positive. I can never repay her or fully express how important she was to me during those years, and so this is really the least I could do. Plus, it was just a blast to reunite with all these amazing friends from years ago."

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