“This Small Town Piqua” – printed in the Piqua Daily Call

RevealThe dream of the Piqua Music Video project came into being quite a few years ago when a few of us were sitting around talking about the Dayton Music video of 2015. As with any big project it took us a few years to get everything lined up to begin to bring our dream to fruition. In April of 2017, I sat down with Andrew & Lauren White of Indigo Life Video Marketing (located in Dayton, Ohio) and the “official” planning started for the video. Andrew and Lauren were the masterminds behind the Dayton Music video, which was picked as 1 of the top 5 things in Dayton that year, so who better to work with than Indigo Life! The City of Piqua partnered with Mainstreet Piqua, Piqua Arts Council and the Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce on this video. Along with financial help from the 4 local partners mentioned previously, we also received grant money from the following foundations: Lungard Foundation, Hartzell Norris Foundation & the Miami County Foundation. This truly was a community effort!

It wasn’t until early December 2017 that our committee first begin to meet, plan, and vision. Obviously, in order to have a music video we needed a song, and of course we wanted to keep things local, so we reached out to Jordan and Justin Younce of “Reflektion” to help us with that part of the video. They both met alongside our committee as we began to brainstorm. In our first meeting, we talked about Piqua and identified what aspects of our community we wanted to highlight in our video. Jordan and Justin took our ideas and suggestions and went off to do what they do best…write music. They came back to our next meeting and shared with us what they came up with, and it truly was amazing! Each and every one of us around the table were blown away with how they took the ideas we had shared around the table and pulled it all together into the song, “This Small Town.” 

So over the next 5 or so months we began to piece together what the Piqua Music Video would look like. We asked ourselves, “What was the story the song told and how could we showcase it?” #ThisSmallTownPiqua was born and began to show up on a variety of social media sites and the excitement began to build. We knew that this project would be a top-notch, real-deal music video that our community could be proud of for years to come!

The video would take us from Hartzell Airport, to Johnston Farm, to Fountain Park, to Fort Piqua Plaza, to Mulligan’s Pub, to Bing’s, to Lock Nine, to Main Street for the Piqua High School Homecoming Parade Scene, to the Veteran’s Memorial, to Piqua High School Football Stadium & Alexander Field, to 311 Drafthouse, to a variety of pick-up shots around the community, and finally to a bonfire scene out in the country.  Yes, we truly covered a lot of ground putting this video together!

This would not have happened if it was not for our giving and amazing community and there are many that need to be thanked for helping in our video. We had over 200 volunteers participate in the various scenes we shot and we had many show up for about 60 “cameos.” Obviously, I can’t name each and everyone of you that helped but you know who you are and please know that we appreciate YOU!  There are a few folks that I do want to mention: Hartzell Airport for the use of the Airport and a Plane, Jim Sherry from Paul Sherry Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM, for the use of an amazing Rocky Ridge Truck, Andy Hite & Johnston Farm, Chuck Morris & the Elite Tribute Squad. Superintendent of Piqua City Schools Dwayne Thompson, Tom Westfall and members of the Piqua High School Show Choir, Carl Phlipot and the Pride of Piqua Marching Band, Morgan Mohr and the Piqua Varsity Cheerleaders, Piqua Police and Fire Departments, Coach Bill Nees and the Piqua Indians Football Team, Gregg & Kathleen Wyatt & 311 Drafthouse, Jeff Cotner and Mulligan’s Pub, Rocky Gunnerman & Bing’s, Jim Oda & the Piqua Library Staff, Piqua Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors (aka “Red Coats”), Kathy & Jamie Mayse (Jared & Justin’s Nana & PaPaw) who hosted our bonfire scene), and Helga Leap and the Comfort Inn, who provided lodging for our Production Company and Crew. 

Last, but not least, I want to mention my Committee, who worked tirelessly for months behind the scenes and for the 2 very full and long days of filming. Lorna Swisher, Jordan Knepper, Melissa Leingang, Amanda Brown, and Kathy Sherman helped with the vision, casting and a variety of other jobs as needed on location. A.J. Ganger, Station Manager from Indian Nation Station (Channel 5 on Public Access TV) was at every meeting and was a huge help! A.J. did a wonderful job of filming “behind the scenes” for a “Piqua Music Video Documentary” of the whole process. This Documentary will be released later this summer, so you too can see what went into making the magic of Piqua’s Music Video! Piqua High School senior Morgan Ford also helped with the filming of the “behind the scenes” Documentary and was able to spend some time with Indigo Life and the Crew and get some “hands-on” experience!  Brittany Van Horn, the City of Piqua’s Special Events Coordinator was my right arm and put in countless hours working on our project. She took care of all the logistics that were needed in the many locations where we filmed, and she handled the release forms that needed to be signed by all that were in the video. Andrew & Lauren White of Indigo Life and their amazing Crew got our vision and they truly helped us shine! Such a talented group of folks and they all gave it their all and were “all in” over the fun and very long 2 days of filming! And finally Jared and Justin Younce, these young men are just amazing and are the nicest young men you would ever meet! They were a joy to work with and I could not be more proud of them! They have already accomplished quite a bit in their life, and I know that they are destined for great things! I said over and over again during our filming on the set that I know that someday we will see them on the CMA’s!

#ThisSmallTownPiqua is something we can all be proud of; because we are an amazing community! This project was all about sharing with the wider world the great things about Piqua, but I also hope that it will speak to each one of us as well. Reminding us that we can be proud of our community, because “warm hearted people, make up this town!” Yes, we do have a “Quality Life” here in Piqua!