You must have seen the inspiring video of the Cardinal Shehan School Choir, a Baltimore-based performance group comprised of elementary and middle school-aged children, singing Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” The Cardinal Shehan School is a Catholic school once staffed by the Oblate Sisters of Providence. The choir’s spontaneous video has more than 60 million views with the Choir answering requests for performances on everything from national news programs to the Baltimore Ravens football pre-game national anthem.
The unexpected national fanfare and exposure began when choir director Kenyatta Hardison recorded a rehearsal in late September and then posted on Facebook for the Cardinal Shehan community, family and friends to enjoy. After hearing about so much tragedy in Baltimore and around the world, Hardison thought she could bring a little light to the Cardinal Shehan community. Little did Hardison know that her Facebook post was exactly what the world needed to hear.
“Powerful, innocent and talented young voices singing “Rise Up” at a time of natural disasters, murders and political turmoil was just what the doctor ordered,” said Hardison. “People from around the world have reached out to let the students know they have touched lives far beyond Baltimore. We are overwhelmed with the positive reaction and are trying to digest the growing interest in these kids and their voices.”
The Choir is taking the national fame in stride, making their rounds on national talk shows and news programs. ABC’s The View, Good Morning America and the ABC Nightly News have hosted the Choir and aired stories as has The Baltimore Sun, Washington Post and all local Baltimore TV stations. Even recording artists, Andra Day and Common, have performed with the students.
All of this publicity is welcome exposure since the Cardinal Shehan School serves a community where more than half of all students are on free or reduced lunch and receive tuition assistance. The school administration is hopeful that generous donors will hear the talent of the Choir and recognize their need for additional funds and support to help these kids continue on their talented journey.
Info on Cardinal Shehan School can be found at cardinalshehanschool.org