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Mukilteo choir honors former student killed in triple-murder last summer

The Kamiak High School choir performs "The Morning of Eternity" by Eric Barnum (Photo: KOMO News)

MUKILTEO, Wash. -- The choir at Kamiak High School honored their former member Anna Bui with an original piece during their end of the year concert Thursday night.

Bui, 19, was one of three former Kamiak students shot and killed during a party in Mukilteo last July. Jordan Ebner and Jake Long also lost their lives.

"Like everyone, I was feeling shocked," said Bui's chorus teacher, Nancy Duck-Jefferson.

So in the days after Anna's death, Duck-Jefferson sent an e-mail to Anna's favorite composer, asking him to write a piece for Anna.

"I was just trying to think of a way to honor her memory and heal ourselves," she said.

Acclaimed composer Dr. Eric Barnum got that note at his home in Wisconsin.

"I was honored and humbled," Barnum said. "I said yes to this project because I knew it was special."

The composer spent months on it, crafting a piece that would capture both the gravity of the community's loss and the hope for healing. He even visited Kamiak High to meet the choir and learn more about Anna.

Some of Anna's friends and former Kamiak choir members decided to learn the music as well.

"It isn't an ending," said Jessica Niewohner, Bui's friend. "It's a way to kind of remember Anna, and keep her memory alive."

Several of those former Kamiak choir members joined the current students at Kamiak High School Thursday night to perform Anna's original song. Dozens of voices echoed through the auditorium as a crowd listened, including about a dozen of Bui's family members. Tears streamed down the singers' faces during the most powerful harmonies.

Her sister, Anny Bui, said it was an emotional experience.

"I see Anna not in any more pain," she said. "She's at peace. And just a lot of hope."

Anny says she's so grateful to the Kamiak choir and the Mukilteo community for the support and love they've shown her and her family.

Anna’s family created an endowment fund at the University of Washington called the Anna Bui World of Hope Fund to help students who share Anna’s love of the world.

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