In a viral video posted this week, dozens of Hingham Middle School chorus students can be seen serenading their favorite teacher, choir director Christopher Landis, at his wedding rehearsal lunch in Plymouth, bringing him to tears, reports the Patriot Ledger.
The emotional video, which shows dozens of students singing The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” to Landis and his now-husband Joe Michienzie, has been viewed almost 900,000 times this week.
The newspaper reports that two parents of Landis’ students organized four Sunday rehearsals with the help of 50 students and their parents.
The students boarded a bus and drove over 30 miles to surprise Landis at his wedding rehearsal.
“It was so wonderful for the kids to see him with his family and his close friends, and they saw him as a person, not just their teacher,” Joy Foraste, one of the parents who organized the surprise, said. “They saw how much it meant to him. He immediately started crying and the kids started crying. It’s something they’ll never forget.”
Foraste and Margit Foley, both parents of 8th grade girls, said they began planning the surprise all the way back in September.
“We reached out to his fiance Joe because I wasn’t really sure how he’d react,” said Foley. “But he was immediately on board. He said he had also been trying to figure out how to incorporate the students because they mean so much to Mr. Landis.”
“We had no idea what to expect,” Foley said. “But instead of the 20 we were hoping for, we had over 50 kids. It’s such a testament to Mr. Landis as a teacher and as a figure in their lives.”
After the performance, Landis can be heard turning to the crowded room and saying: “These are my kids.”
“It’s great that this is the type of community we get to work in,” Hingham Middle School Principal Derek Smith said. “It says so much about the kids and their parents, but also about the type of teacher Mr. Landis is, that he would inspire something like this . . . it was excellent.”