GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — When Maggie Malone asked a group of teachers to join her one morning in December 2018 to sing Christmas Carols for WOOD TV8, they had no idea what it would turn into.

Four years later, not only is the group, GR Staff Notes, still singing together, they are performing throughout the year and recording their arrangements.

“Our staff had so much fun performing together that they looked at me and said, Maggie, we always have to do this,” said Malone.  

It helps that they have a Grammy-nominated producer in the group with a recording studio in Grand Rapids.

Debra Perry works with artists out of her studio, Joint Heir Music, and was nominated for a Grammy for her engineering work on Marvin Sapp’s latest release, “Close.”

Despite her and Malone’s many commitments outside school hours, their priority is teaching and sharing their passion for music with students.

“One of the reasons why I am the musician I am today was because of my music teacher. So yes, I see that sparkle in other kids’ eyes,” Perry explained.

She also said performing with the other teachers brings them back to their first love and helps them see that passion through their students’ eyes again.

Malone said spending this time with other teachers, creating their arrangements and lyrics, is “great professional development and great fellowship.”

“It’s really a pride point for students to say that is my teacher. Look! It is cool to see how kids respond to viewing their teacher in a different light,” Malone said.

The group performs a lot, not just around the holidays, which is important to all of the singers.

“When we formalized, it was important to give back to the community, try to sing at the children’s hospital or other hospitals, and just find ways to connect with the community,” Malone said.

It will include a Black History Month concert in February.