Classroom musical

Amanda Warner, a Texas history teacher and girl’s athletic coach at Pioneer Heritage Middle School in Frisco, lead a group of students as they competed in the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show’s Classroom Musical competition.

Schools across North Texas, and even into Oklahoma, put on their dancing shoes and sang their hearts out for a chance to win a classroom renovation.

The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show recently hosted its fourth annual “Classroom Musical” competition with special judge Karmin. The competition requires students to shoot a video of their class performing a “Glee”-style song and dance.

Out of all the entries, three classes were awarded $1,500 in the elementary, middle and high school categories to put toward classroom enhancements. One class will also win a live performance by Karmin.

On Thursday, the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show announced its winners. O’Banion Middle School in Garland won the middle school category, Harmony Hills Elementary in San Antonio won the elementary category and Lackawanna Trail High School in Factoryville, Penn., won for the high school category.

“We got so many incredible entries this year, and the competition was fierce; but each of our winners was absolutely awesome,” said J-Si Chavez, co-host of The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show. “The students of O’Banion can really sing and dance, and they obviously have a fabulous teacher in Mrs. Reed.  They have a lot to be proud of.”

Tuesday, The Kidd Kraddick Morning Show cast will announce which of the three winners will win the live performance.

Even though they weren’t top winners, three area schools that competed said it was worth the experience.

“I’ve always listened to the show and heard about this contest a few times,” said Amanda Warner, a Texas history teacher and girl’s athletic coach at Pioneer Heritage Middle School in Frisco. “I talked to my students about the contest this year, and they wanted to do it.”

Warner, who led a group of 30 middle school students, said the children came to school early every morning – usually arriving before 7 a.m. to work on their video. The class chose “Heartbroken” by Karmin and changed some of the lyrics to include “shout-outs” to Kidd Kraddick and Karmin.

“They were the stars of this,” Warner said. “I think the fact that we are together a lot since I’m also their coach helped move this project along because they were comfortable with me.”

Warner said the students spent four days completing storyboards for the music video and then taped it right before spring break.

“I could not believe the level of commitment they showed,” Warner said. “They’re so excited about this competition. We didn’t care if we won or lost; we just had fun competing.”

Warner said the whole process was a positive experience and gave her students more confidence and helped them bond with each other.

For Bailey Brown, a teacher at Denton’s Bettye Myers Middle School, this year’s competition offered her a sense of redemption.

“I heard about the competition on the radio last year, but my students didn’t get the video in on time,” Brown said. “However, I thought this would be a fun thing to do, so when I came to this school, I talked to the other teachers on my team about competing.”

Brown said because Bettye Middle School is new this year, the students were excited to compete for money to go toward the classrooms. She said they knew it would benefit them to win.

Brown’s students chose the song “Talk Dirty” by Jason Derulo, but put their own twist to it.

“They changed the song to ‘Talk Funny’ and wrote their own lyrics,” Brown said. “We wanted to highlight as many people’s talents as possible.”

Brown’s students divided into two groups – one for on-camera and one off-camera.

“They wrote out each scene and tried to make it very school-orientated,” Brown said. “Throughout this process they got to explore their creative side that they don’t always get to during school. Students who are maybe not in choir got to sing, and students who aren’t normally able to express their creativeness were given an outlet.”

Brown said neither she nor her students would ever forget the experience.

Jennifer Quinones, a teacher at Plano’s Wyatt Elementary School, lead 21 fifth grade students as they created a video to “You Can Count on Me” by Bruno Mars.

“They were already singing the song for their glee group, but decided to change all the lyrics,” Quinones said. “It was pretty cool watching them work together. They were just so excited about writing a new song, and I think they will always remember entering the contest.”

Quinones said the experience was a first for her and her students.

“This was a great experience, one we would do again,” Quinones said. “It was exciting watching them work so well together, and they seemed excited about the whole process.” 

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