In the midst of tremendous loss and difficulty, we often discover wisdom and beauty that serves to remind us of the resilience of the human spirit.

I was reminded of that paradox when the gifted musician Téa Renee Ning LaFleur reached out to share a new song she has just released on streaming platforms called “Tell Me.” The Berklee College of Music vocalist and 2018 Eastmont High School graduate wrote and recorded the song in collaboration with pianist Joseph Nehring.

Rufus Woods

Rufus Woods

Publisher emeritus

The song speaks to the uncertainty of these times that comes from the abrupt changes and the sense of loss that we are experiencing. “This song was a way for us as musicians — as friends — to create a deliberate purpose to remain connected despite the distance,” said Téa Renee, who wrote the lyrics and performs the vocals on the track.

They enlisted fellow students to help them produce the final product, which can be found on all streaming platforms. Here’s a link to the YouTube video:

“We’ve all had to open ourselves to understanding our relationships more this year because either you have been forced to be physically closer to some — isolating together under the same roof — or physically distanced from others you care about. But the emotional closeness and distance we have been facing this year has little to do with where we are in proximity to others,” Téa said.

Tea Renee

Téa Renee and Joseph Nehring performing 'Tell Me'

“You can be right next to someone and feel miles away from them,” she continued.”I think we’ve all learned this year that communication is hard. We cannot read each other’s minds — whether we’re in the same building or miles apart — and that can leave us feeling vulnerable and alone.”

Téa Renee was involved in every theater and choir production at Eastmont from 2014-2018 and was nominated for a 5th Avenue Award for her supporting role as Alice in Addams Family. Trained by the late Leslie McEwen, she won the Wenatchee Valley Symphony’s Young Musician Competition in 2016.

She also participated in the Julian Patrick Vocal Camp every summer, Chelan Bach Fest, and was frequently featured in Icicle Creek productions, performed in the Apple Blossom Musical, and many Stage Kids productions over the years.

She’s a marvelously talented young woman and seems destined to make meaningful contributions with her extraordinary gifts.

Rufus Woods is the publisher emeritus of The Wenatchee World. He may be reached at or 509-665-1162.