On March 23rd, BHS students Heidi Douglass, Ava-Jo Russin, and Sierra Schmidt, alongside HMS students Brody Brazill, Nolan Dowling, Julianna Lang, and Rebekah Priano performed in the PMEA Junior High Orchestra concert at Upper Saint Clair High School. Congratulations to those students on representing their district well!
Congratulations to senior Cynthia Hayhurst and junior Nick Murawski on representing Baldwin-Whitehall at the Pennsylvania Music Educator Association's Region I Band Festival! The festival took place at New Castle Area High School, and the students performed in a concert conducted by Youngstown State University professor, Dr. Stephen Gage. Congratulations Nick and Cindy!
Congratulations to senior, Cynthia Hayhurst, juniors, Alex Demko and Nick Murawski, and sophomore, Astrid Senko, on representing BHS at the PMEA District 1 West District Band concert on January 25th at Cornell High School. These students performed alongside students from school districts in Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, and Greene counties. Congratulations Cyndi, Alex, Nick, and Astrid on a job well done!
Congratulations to junior Nick Murawski on representing Baldwin-Whitehall at the PMEA District 1 Honors Band festival on November 18th. After auditioning in October, Nick was selected to play his clarinet in the ensemble, comprised of advanced student performers from Allegheny, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. Congratulations to Nick on a job well done!
A number of BWSD music students have been honored through their participation in PMEA Festivals this winter. In February, BHS band members DJ Pickell (Trombone) and Cindy Hayhurst (Flute) participated in PMEA Region I Band at Plum High School. Through a competitive audition, DJ was offered a spot in PMEA All-State Band. The weekend of March 1-3 was a big one for PMEA, beginning with Region I Choir at Butler HS. At Region Choir, DJ Pickell was offered, and accepted, a position in PMEA All-State Choir. At Mt. Lebanon HS, several BWSD students had the opportunity to participate in PMEA District 1 West Jr. High District Band, including Leanna Paul (Clarinet, BHS), Astrid Senko (French Horn, BHS), Ryan Bramson (Percussion - HMS), Emily Fowler (Clarinet - HMS), Ava Jo Russin (Flute - HMS) and Sierra Schmidt (Bass Clarinet - HMS). Finally, eight BWSD students were selected for and participated in PMEA District 1 Elementary String Fest. Those students were: Annabelle Herrle (Cello - PES), Abbilyn Rexrode (Viola - WES), Brooklyn Joyce (Violin - PES), Kylee Schoming (Violin - HMS), Athena Chen (Violin - WES), Emma Smerbeck (Violin - WES), Alex Funk (Violin - WES), and Savannah Susan (Viola - PES). Congratulations to all!
What is the history behind Baldwin Idol?
Over two decades ago, there was a similar singing competition called Fabulous 15. The audience paid admission and submitted a single vote for their favorite performer. Years later, students in the choir got together and created the Baldwin Idol concept to make it more of an entertaining event where all of the singers set aside their competitive natures and focus more on raising awareness for non-profit organizations and individuals who need our help.
How does it work?
At Baldwin Idol, each singer chooses a charity. Admission is free, but the audience members cast votes through donations toward their favorite singer's cause. The singer with the most money wins a $50 gift card and the opportunity for all of the donations to go the charity they chose. Baldwin Idol has become more of an entertaining evening to use music to bolster the funds raised.
Why is it important for students to raise money for charity?
It is important that students experience the intrinsic benefits of supporting charities such as the ones recognized at Baldwin Idol. The Choir students sponsor multiple charitable events including winter and spring concert food drives, Gifts of Dance- which has raised thousands for Children’s Hospital, and the Annual Piano Recital that has raised money for groups such as the Pittsburgh Zoo, Baldwin’s Partners Music, and more. Research shows that being involved in charities improves your sense of well-being, social connection, and happiness. What is greater than using your talent to have fun & make a difference in the lives of those who are in need?
Emily Schessler, who sang "How Far I'll Go" won with the single most donations. The charity she chose was the 1Six Foundation, a non-profit in honor of Ty Kesten that works to promote awareness of how short and precious life is.
Who were the judges?
Dr. Harrold, Baldwin High School English educator. Mr. Chris Reilsono, Baldwin High School Social Studies educator. And Mr. Gerry Hall, Baldwin High School guidance counselor.
Tell us about the money that was raised?
Parents, students, and teachers donated over $1000.00 at the event.
Reflecting on the event?
There were 13 high school singers on the stage, some of which have never sung in front of such a large audience. The three teachers who volunteered as judges were hilarious and quirky as they delicately and creatively critiqued the singers on their singing and song choices. I am always inspired by the enthusiasm of students who volunteer not out of selfish ambition, but in humility they value others above themselves.