Pupils at Kinross High School will be taking more than a passing interest in the Eurovision song contest this year as their music teacher bids for glory – for Romania.
Jason Blyth (32) entered his song, ‘Tear Up The Dark’, to be considered as the UK’s entry for the 2017 contest.
But it was rejected – prompting him to put an acoustic version of his track on YouTube with a plea for other interested nations to get in touch.
Fans of a Romanian X Factor star then inundated Jason with emails and comments on before putting him in touch with eastern European singer Teodora Dinu.
Jason and his pupils then produced and recorded the backing track for the singer, who will now perform it live on Romanian TV on Sunday as part of their selection process.
Teodora is aiming to take the tune – which tells the story of a friend of Jason’s who became a paralympic athlete – all the way to the Eurovision finals in Kiev, Ukraine, in May.
And Jason’s pupils have played ‘a huge part’ in his extraordinary musical journey.
“They have been involved from the very beginning,” said Jason, who has taught at Kinross High for a year. “They have been giving me feedback and suggestions on how it should be produced, what instruments to use and so on.
“They also played a huge part in bringing the song to the attention of the Romanian people by sharing it on social media.
“They were actively involved in the recording and production of the backing track.
“I have been in constant dialogue with Teodora regarding the song, her staging etc,” Jason continued.
“She is very happy with how it sounds and said that ‘it would be an honour’ to sing it in the Romanian Eurovision competition.
“The song is about a good friend of mine from uni, Stephen Campbell.
“He was told in his teens that he would lose all his sight, which must be devastating to hear.
“The song is about how he overcame these barriers to become a Paralympic swimmer for the Irish Swimming team in the Beijing paralympics.”
Jason added: “I feel the subject of the song is something that hasn’t really been covered by Eurovision artists. It also has a catchy hook and a live rock drive that is seldom aired in Eurovision competitions.
“I posted an acoustic demo on YouTube after being rejected by the UK and suddenly I was inundated with emails and YouTube comments from Romanian Eurovision fans who really liked the song.
“It was one of Teodora’s fans who was instrumental in putting me in touch with her.
“To my amazement, she had already heard my demo. She said that she loved the song and it would be a privilege to sing it in the Romanian national selections.
“However, she wanted a “pop rock” twist and that was where my pupils came in.
“There is a massive buzz in the school about our song.”