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Brett Gregory is a vocal music teacher at Waukee South Middle School. He was recently the conductor for 5th and 6th grade festival choir at the Northwest Iowa Choral Directors Festival hosted in Sioux Center.

Gregory also served as Director of Music at churches in Waterloo, Des Moines and Waukee. He was even recently recognized with a “Making a Difference” award from the Waukee School District.

And the five songs performed by the 5th and 6th-grade students had a common theme earlier this week at the festival — unity and love.

But Gregory seemingly sings a different tune when it comes to conservative beliefs, based on his social media postings.

In fact, the award-winning teacher in Waukee shared a post on Facebook that said if someone cares about their child’s sexuality, then they shouldn’t have kids.

In June of 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. And it led to Gregory writing:

“America sucks and I’m so sorry.”

And don’t be one of the bad guys who tries to keep sexually explicit materials out of school libraries!

Despite this bitter, divisive rhetoric, Gregory conducted the performance of a song called “Rise and Stand” by Arianne Abela. That song aims to not ignore the “hard times” America faces. Abela wrote she wanted to address some “current issues” with an easygoing song reminiscent of old Civil Rights songs.

Abela is the artistic director of a professional chamber group that celebrates racial, ethnic and gender diversity.

The song was selected to be included in the Justice Choir Songbook, volume 1. Lyrics to the social justice song are:

I will rise with all my daughters, I will rise against my foes
I will rise with all the mothers, I will carry all their woes
I will rise to fight for freedom, I will rise though faced with fears
I will rise against all hatred while my eyes are veiled with tears

I will rise for religious freedom, for a rich diversity
I will rise for all the weary, for each lonely refugee
I will work for all our women who deserve equal pay
I will work for all our children who await a better day

Oh, stand with me
Rise up hand in hand
Oh, stand with me
We will rise to spread love across this bitter land

I will rise for love & justice that we may see a better day
I will rise in peace & service for our world in disarray
I will rise with all my brothers for all those who cannot stand
I will rise with all our fathers who have lost a home & land

I will rise to build up bridges for theis broken world we see
I will tear down walls between us that divide you & me / Brothers
(go to refrain) Oh, stand with me
Rise up hand in hand
Oh, stand with me

We will rise to spread love across this bitter land / Sisters
(tag) I will rise

Other songs performed were:

*Eneza Upendo, Jim Papoulis
*Refuge, Audrey Snyder
*United, PinkZebra
*Music Changes the World, Jim Papoulis



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