Palm Harbor Middle School pupils could be rapping to a new beat next fall. There's a new school song in the works.
It's not the traditional rah-rah Palm Harbor-type school song.
This one is rhythm and blues and rap.
"It sort of sounds like one of Bobby Brown's songs," said seventh-grader Christy Harfmann. "It's modern. The kids like this kind of music."
Bobby Brown is a Top 40 singer, specializing in rhythm and blues, rock and rap.
The idea for the special song belonged to Palm Harbor principal Scotty East.
At the beginning of the school year, East got together with Cary Scott Reich, vice president of a music production house, Jeff Arthur Productions on Ulmerton Road in Largo.
East said he gave Reich some key words he wanted in the song such as "pride, aim for greatness, we are doers, not gonna doers."
"He worked with that and came up with this song you can flat dance to," East said.
Reich and a friend, Scott Campbell, made a demonstration tape for East so the principal could do a little test-marketing at the school.
"I took the promo to orchestra class to see how they would react," East said. "Then I played it over the intercom for the whole student body. Then I played it for the PTA."
East said the pupils liked the song.
"They wanted to know where they could buy the tape," he said.
The PTA was less enthusiastic, East said.
"They'd probably move the radio dial if it came over the station they were listening to," East said. "It wasn't targeted for adults."
However, orchestra director Kathleen Bawel liked the song. "But I'm into all kinds of music," she said.
Plans are in the works to change some of the words of the song to more generic terms so it can be used by other schools in the district.
Reich said a chorus of 30 middle and high school students from most of the schools in the district will record the song Friday.
"We're changing "Palm Harbor Middle School' to "Dedication to Education,"' Reich said. "That way, it can be used by everybody."
Reich said school officials have plans for a video to go with the song that promotes only good things such as "dedication, participation and stay in school until graduation."
The video idea is fine with East.
"Many things done to promote education, like most public service announcements, are aimed at adults," East said. "Kids don't turn on to those. But this is like any good, popular music you hear today. You could flat do some dancing to this one."