Following in the footsteps of popular music acts such as Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down are Cassy and Alyssa Gaddis of Springfield. Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down both recorded music and filmed performances for the Army National Guard. Now, the two local girls have become the new faces of the National Guard music campaign.
The lights go down, and in a matter of minutes the movie will start. But first, a music video appears and suddenly the audience is listening to two singing teenagers who may become hometown legends.
Following in the footsteps of popular music acts such as Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down are Cassy and Alyssa Gaddis of Springfield. Kid Rock and 3 Doors Down both recorded music and filmed performances for the Army National Guard. Now, the two girls have become the new faces of the National Guard music campaign.
In May 2008, Alyssa Gaddis, 13, a student at Springfield Christian School, wrote the song “The Price of Peace,” a military-inspired song in which Alyssa speaks of the love and support for soldiers in the military and their deployment.
“Well, my dad (Jim, who serves in the Illinois Army National Guard) has been in the military our whole life. We are military kids and born on military bases. We have lived the life of our dad being gone, and I wanted that to come alive through the song,” Alyssa said.
Since then Alyssa and Cassy, a 16-year-old who will be a senior this fall at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School, have been working hard to fulfill their dreams for the song. And on Saturday, a music video of the song premiered in movie theaters nationwide.
“We knew this song was bigger than us. The whole point of the song was to reach out to everyone and allow the world to know not only are our soldiers fighting a war, but so are the military families,” Cassy said.
With big hopes for the song, the Gaddis sisters said they were ecstatic when State Farm Insurance and the National Guard agreed to be their sponsors.
“Fate stepped in and my dad happened to be flying with the CEO of State Farm. He told (the CEO) about the song and then it all went up from there,” Cassy said.
Once the sponsors were set, the Gaddis sisters recorded “The Price of Peace” at the Creative Caffeine recording studio in Nashville, Tenn. The song was then released online in September 2008.
“Once the song was recorded we got it to some important people in D.C. and they called us to make the music video, which is now released online,” Cassy said.
Filmed in the Nashville area at several different locations, the music video production began. Four grueling days later, the Gaddis sisters’ first music video shoot was complete.
Alyssa and Cassy said that being on the set of their own music video was “fun and exciting,” and they felt like superstars.
As the music video circulates on numerous Web sites, it also hits the big screen.
On May 22, just in time to commemorate Memorial Day, the Gaddis sisters’ video debuted in movie theaters in seven states — Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia and Texas — and in Washington, D.C., because these locations have the most soldiers who have been deployed.
Because of the military content in the video, however, it will be shown only before films with a PG-13 and R rating.
The video tells the story of a young girl and the emotions she goes through with her family when her father leaves to go to war.
Through the song’s lyrics and music video’s footage, the Gaddis sisters’ message is told loud and clear.
“We got to sing ‘The Price of Peace’ in Nashville for about 1,300 soldiers. That was probably our favorite experience because there was not a dry eye in the house. It touched these men and women so much, and we couldn’t believe the impact it had,” Cassy said.
“The Price of Peace” is impacting not just soldiers and families, but the state of Illinois.
“The Price of Peace” single, along with T-shirts, are available for purchase at www.thepriceofpeace.org. Profits will be donated to the Illinois Family Readiness groups and local Veterans of Foreign Wars posts for families in need.
The Gaddis sisters will dedicate their summer to promoting the song through more charitable and singing events.
On June 6, in Decatur, the Gaddis sisters will use their voices to help raise money for soldiers who have been wounded. They are also scheduled to appear at the Pentagon and their sponsors are working on scheduling a White House appearance.
Cassy and Alyssa recently sang at the G.I. Film Festival in Washington, D.C., which is a five-day event showcasing films about the military.
“The G.I. Film Festival gave us the great opportunity of meeting some huge faces of Hollywood filmmakers. We also got to sing the song and show the video, which is always exciting to see people’s reaction as they see it for the first time,” Cassy said.
“Our hopes for the song is that people would realize what it’s truly like for a little girl and her family to go through,” Alyssa said.
On the big screen
The video for the song “The Price of Peace,” performed by Cassy and Alyssa Gaddis of Springfield, Ill., will be seen through June 11 before films rated PG-13 or R in seven states.
On the Web
To see Cassy and Alyssa Gaddis’ music video and to learn more about their story, check out these following Web sites.
Jenna Cusumano is a senior at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.