Local songwriters respond to shootings

BIDDEFORD – Nearly one month ago, 18-year-old Alivia Welch and 19-year-old Derrick Thompson were killed in their Sokokis Road apartment in Biddeford and many of their friends and family have spent the last 30 days trying to make sense of their deaths and help the families heal.

Welch and Thompson were killed on December 29 allegedly over of a dispute with their landlord, James Pak, about parking, snow removal, and rent payments. Also injured during the shooting was Susan Jonson, Thompson’s 44-year-old mother.

Brandon Aull, who graduated with Welch from Thornton Academy in 2012, and Zachary Greaton, currently a junior at TA, were both friends and former classmates of Welch’s. They wrote and produced a music video as tribute to their slain friend.

The song, “Liv and let Liv,” written by Aull, was posted on YouTube Jan. 28, and Greaton said it can also be found at iTunes, Apple’s online music store.

“The proceeds from (downloading) the song are going to help the families,” Aull said. He and Greaton have worked together for some time, but this is the song they are most proud of.

“We had the song written, but it became even better with Elsa’s vocals,” Aull said referring to singer Elsa Curran who is featured on the song.

“This project means a lot to us both and we decided it was time to use our talents to benefit others,” said Greaton.

A few friends and acquaintances have seen the film and it has had a dramatic effect on them.

“What they’ve done is remarkable,” said Caryn Lasante, an English teacher at Thornton Academy who has had all three students in her classroom.

Lasante said the school plans to show the music video to teachers and students at an assembly early next week. Aull and Greaton will speak at the meeting about the music and their efforts to help.

“For Brandon, music has always been the way he has expressed himself. It’s only natural that he’d do this for Alivia,” she said.


Editor’s note: A story about the reaction to the video, the families’ response, and information about how the public at large can help will appear in future editions of MySecretMaine.

David Arenstam

About David Arenstam

Originally from away, but here to stay - Maine is my home and I love writing stories about the people and places from my end of the state. I am a teacher and writer and my first novel, "Homecoming: A Soldier's Story of Loyalty, Courage, and Redemption" is available now at www.BrysonTaylorPublishing.com