BALDWIN, Pa. (KDKA) – Schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, but hundreds of classrooms are open thanks to some amazingly creative teachers. KDKA found one of them in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District.

The music room at Harrison Middle School is silent, but the students in Kathy Hawk’s chorus are still singing. If you listen closely, you can hear them.

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There are 150 chorus students in grades six through eight taking part in a creative online competition. Hawk says those who aren’t competing are judging.

“It’s a little difficult because we are a chorus. We came up with a masked singer competition,” she says.

Hawk has been a music teacher in the Baldwin-Whitehall School District for 25 years and is an accomplished performer herself, so she wasn’t about to allow a virus to silence her students.

“They are taking a song that they choose and they are recording on an app called Flipgrid and the kids submit their voting sheets at the end of each week to see who will make it to the next round,” Hawk explains.

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The competition began in March shortly after schools closed. The winning student will receive a surprise in the mail from Hawk.

“It’s really cool to see the kids and not know who they are. I’m learning I didn’t know their voices quite as well as I thought. They are putting on a mask and I’m listening and I’m not sure who the kids are. I don’t know until I see their names when I login.”

Chorus met every other day at school and they were scheduled to do a concert when COVID-19 put the brakes on all of that.

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week. KDKA appreciates you, Kathy Hawk.

NOTE: KDKA is reviving our segment with Brenda Waters called “On A Positive Note.”

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