On Thursday, The Piano Guys released a new music video, “Ode to Joy to the World,” featuring the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir and The Wesley Bell Ringers. In the video’s description, group members took the opportunity to share their testimonies while also expressing gratitude for the prayers offered on their behalf last year during and after the search for Annie Schmidt.
“Life is about joy,” the post begins. “So why do we tend to let life get in the way of joy? We’ve been through a great deal of ups and downs, drastic changes, and even tragedies this past year. Jon and his family, especially, have suffered at the hands of brutal uncertainty, impending hopelessness, and inexplicable loss.”
Annie Schmidt, the daughter of pianist Jon Schmidt, was reported missing on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, and search and rescue teams spent nearly a month searching the Columbia River Gorge, where her car was found. On Nov. 11, 2016, her remains were found where she is believed to have fallen while hiking near Munra Point in Oregon.
However, in the wake of the tragedy, the Piano Guys said they found joy.
“Through it all, we have felt your prayers. You lended us hope, you freely expressed love, and you magnified your faith on our behalf. This not only sustained us, but also raised us up out of the abysmal stasis of stagnancy — our will to go on went on because of your willingness to send your selfless spirit our way,” the post reads.
“We know we’re not alone when it comes to feeling alone. Or depressed. Or hopeless. You have had these moments too. It’s something we all have in common, no matter who we are or where we’re from. You’ve felt like giving up. We did too. But mingled with this feeling was something we didn’t expect. And as we gave place for it, nurtured it, and expressed gratitude for it, we felt this feeling grow. It was joy.”
The video has been viewed over 100,000 times.