Whatever the Parkland tragedy made them feel, "American Idol" alum Anthony Fedorov told members of the Glendale Community College choir who were singing back-up for his most recent song last week to "use that."
"Anger," one choir member said.
"Hope," countered another.
The song, "Enough is Enough," is a protest against mass school shootings.
Fedorov, a top-four "Idol" contestant on season four, recorded the song live this month in a Glendale Community College classroom — a fitting but coincidental setting, he said.
The singer, known for his rendition of famous ballads on "Idol," said he was inspired to write the song after hearing Parkland shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez give a speech during a rally last month.
With a son about to turn 5 years old, he said he asked himself, "What kind of a world do I want him to live in?"
That world, "of acceptance and unity and love, regardless of where you come from," was one the Ukraine-born Fedorov said he felt he would have to fight for. As a singer and an artist, it made sense to use his voice.
The idea to collaborate with the choir and its leader, Peter Green, "was born in a split second," Fedorov said.
Fedorov and Green first crossed paths at a concert celebrating Filipino culture at the Ford Amphitheater in September, where the choir backed Fedorov's performance. Friendship was fast, and the two stayed in touch.
After writing the hook to "Enough is Enough," Green was the first person who came to mind, Fedorov said.
When the call to collaborate came, only about a week before the recording, Green said it was a "no-brainer."
The song's message resonated with Green, who chairs all of the college's visual and performing arts divisions. When he pitched the idea to the choir, its members shared his enthusiasm.
"As artists, it's kind of a responsibility of ours because people listen to us. We sing, and they listen," Green said of feeling the need to contribute to the national dialogue about school shootings and gun control.
Melanie Stoffel, an English major who sings in the choir, said she wanted to make sure her generation was "looked at historically as people who did what was needed to be done" regarding gun control.
The choir brings together younger students with older community members, noted fellow choir member and first-year student Janie Ngyuen. The demographic diversity made it a unique environment to consider the topic of gun violence, she said.
During the recording, the choir created a striking image, with alto Casandra Murilla, who has been singing with the choir since 1972, singing a pew away from 18-year-old soprano Nguyen.
Some choir singers beamed. Others clenched their fists. A few sets of eyes misted over.
Fedorov and four other singers, including fellow "Idol" alum Brandon Rogers, brought intensity to the main vocals.
All of the voices in the room joined in for the chorus: "We say, 'Enough is enough' / We are not backing up / Like a tidal wave, our voices rise to say, / 'Enough is enough.'"
Four days after the recording, Fedorov released a video of the recording session at Glendale Community College on Facebook and YouTube, with a caption calling listeners to action: "Let's continue to use our voices to advocate for change and come November, we vote!"
He said he plans to further produce and release the song with co-writer Jeff Vincent.
Following his departure from "Idol" in 2005, Fedorov dove into musical theater, landing roles in off-Broadway productions including "The Fantasticks" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
After more than a five-year hiatus following the release of his first LP "Never Over," he is working on a new album, in part motivated by the Parkland shootings and the desire to "push the conversation in the right direction," he said.
"I'm planning to continue to create the kind of content that speaks to what's going on today," he said.
Green and Fedorov both foresee future collaboration.
"Something else will happen because we work so well together," Green said.