For Long Reach High School students, Pomp and Circumstance wasn't the only graduation anthem on their minds last week.
Thanks to a group of five seniors, Long Reach's Class of 2014 had a graduation theme written by their classmates.
"It was a coming-of-age moment, but we know that graduation leads to something bigger and we wanted to really point that out," said D'Ante Colbert, one of the five students involved in writing the rap compilation, "We Here."
In addition to Colbert, the song features Long Reach graduates Nabil Ince, Jocelyn Peña and Nate Lobdell. Fellow graduate Ramsey Carroll served as the track's primary producer.
"They definitely loved it," Ince said of his classmates' reaction to the track. "It's definitely something that has made an impact on them. I've heard nothing but positive things for the song."
Ince was approached with the idea by Long Reach Class of 2014 sponsor Mary Anne Emery and school counselor Brett Moore.
After seeing Ince's winning performance in the school talent show, "Long Reach has Talent," Emery and Moore approached Ince about performing during the school's senior awards ceremony.
"They basically gave free creative license to do whatever," Ince said.
Emery and Moore said the only guideline was to keep it school-appropriate. From there, he recruited friends he knew who were musically talented.
Ince said he had thought about dedicating a song to the Class of 2014, but said their encouragement really opened the doors for the project.
"I feel that we're a special class, and I really wanted to make things more special for us," he said. "A class anthem is really something that I haven't seen too many of."
Students kept their work a secret until Ince checked in with Moore about a month later and let her listen to what they had come up with.
"I was like, 'Are you serious? This is awesome,' " Moore said of her reaction to first hearing the song.
A 'gratifying experience'
The group debuted the song May 23 with a live performance at the senior awards ceremony before the audience erupted in applause, Emery said.
"The feeling at the end of performance, when everybody just started standing up and cheering, it was just a great feeling," Lobdell said.
Since then, Peña said people have not stopped asking about where they can find the track.
"The really loved it, they were like, 'It's perfect for senior year,' " she said.
Students said the song is not just for Long Reach, but for the entire class of 2014.