Baltimore middle school choir’s emotive ‘Rise Up’ performance goes viral

A couple weeks ago, when Baltimore choir director Kenyatta Hardison hit record on her phone, she simply wanted to broadcast the progress her young singers at Cardinal Shehan School had made on the Andra Day song “Rise Up.”

“During the rehearsal, I added a few parts to it, and then I said, ‘Let me just go live with it,’ just so the parents could see,” Hardison said on Tuesday. “When I pushed ‘Live,’ it just changed. These kids were changing the hearts in the world.”

Not just a few hearts, either. Performed by 30 students between grades three and eight, the original nine-minute video clip quickly spread on Hardison’s personal Facebook page and was picked up by ChoirBuzz, a choral-focused Facebook page. As of Tuesday morning, between the two accounts, the video has more than 7.5 million views and has been shared more than 180,000 times. Watch it above.

“[I]t is FABULOUS hearing young singers using head voices, singing parts, using dynamics and singing from their hearts. I’m a blubbering mess!” reads a Facebook comment under the ChoirBuzz video. “Congrats to this wonderful teacher!”

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