3 Parkland Teens Remember Slain Classmates Via Music, Story, Poetry

by Amanda Edwards
Also Featured on NPR/ WBUR's Here And Now

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Amanda Edwards, 17, lost her close friend and fellow musician, Carmen Schentrup, in the Parkland shooting. Amanda says she’s nervous to go outside and a little afraid to play since the incident. Photo courtesy of Eric Edwards.

MUSICAL TRIBUTE: When Words Fail, Music Speaks

Some survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are speaking at rallies. For 17-year-old Amanda Edwards, coping with her grief is taking a different form: playing piano. Youth Radio caught up with her at her home in Parkland, Florida.

I started playing [piano] when I was 3 years old. I didn’t play for fun at all after what happened. I got scared of a little bit of playing — I don’t know why. So this is the second time I’ve played since it happened.

After the massacre I’ve just been laying low I guess.  I’ve also been avoiding public places a lot too, because I’m nervous and I’m a little bit shy. And I’ve always had the school shooter thing in the back of my mind. Ever since I was young I’ve always just had it. Like what if this happens, what if that happens, and one of my what-ifs that I’ve always had my entire mind just happened. So I guess this just confirmed my suspicions in a way.

I went to the viewing for my friend, Carmen Schentrup — my close friend. I was not very good at making friends in the first place. And I first met her in freshman year when I was in orchestra. She sat in the back row, I just talked to her and she just talked to me. Junior year we had five classes together. So she was there for the majority of my day in school. She was probably one of my closest friends ever, I guess.

On Monday before the school shooting happened, I saw her. She kind of slowed down a little bit because she saw me, and she said, “Hi.” And I said, “Hi.”  I remember saying goodbye and it was the last time I saw her… at least alive. And that hurt a lot… after I found out and saw, you know, the body.

I think we had a good time though as friends.

— Amanda Edwards, 17, senior

Amanda Edwards (left) and Carmen Schentrup (right) after an orchestra concert in 2016. Carmen was one of the 17 victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.  Photo courtesy of Eric Edwards.

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