By Joyce Rudolph
Burbank High School’s chorale students proved they can sing, dance and wait tables too as they entertained family and friends during the Carroll’s Corral and Cookout fundraiser on Friday night. The final show is tonight at 6 p.m.
The Western-themed event was presented by the Vocal Music Association with proceeds going to support the year-long program. As this is the first performance of the year, the students pulled the show together in just four weeks.
Risers for the singers were set up on one side of the lunch shelter and tables and chairs on the other. The warm weather made one feel like they were out on the prairie. Student groups performing were Out of the Blue intermediate mixed choir, Impressions advanced women’s choir, In Sync advanced mixed choir, Sound Dogs men’s choir, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and a cappella groups the Sirens women’s choir and the Gentlemen’s Octet.
Parents were in the kitchen tossing a mixed green salad and warming up chili — with meat or just vegetarian — and corn bread. Students were hustling about — filling plastic cups with ice, water and soda and taking people’s orders. Then delivering everything fast and with a smile!
One of those was sophomore Kyle Lucero, 16, who sings with the group Out of the Blue.
“It’s a lot of hard work, but at the end of the day, if the customers are satisfied, that’s all that matters,” he said enthusiastically.
Emma Shannon, who sings with In Sync, was promoting the sale of frickles – fried pickles. “I love ’em!” said the high school junior.
Ruth Rodriguez, 14, also a member of Out of the Blue, took a short break after finishing a song with the group.
“This is a good event to meet new people,” she said.
And that’s what the event’s all about, said vocal teacher Brett Carroll. His “secret agenda” as he calls it, is using events like this to help students build socialization and character skills.
“Like greeting and interacting with people you don’t know and how to help people out,” he said. “Studies show that the No. 1 fear people have above death is speaking in public. This event gets the students off the stage and out into the audience to serve people. It forces them to learn other skills.
“Many of Carroll’s students take the skills they learn in his program and go on to work on stage, in television and in other professions,” he said.
“This is just another avenue — a wonderful way through an art form — to teach them these life skills. That’s what’s so beautiful and important about the program that we want these students to grow into better people. They learn how to read people, how to look people in the eye and work together as a team and problem solve under pressure.”
Another chance to see this show will be at 6 p.m. today. It’s a bargain at $20 per person. Tickets are available at the door. Proceeds help subsidize the vocal music program.The Vocal Music Association’s annual budget is about $400,000, said Ellie Stockwell, VMA President.
“We have a really big goal we are trying to raise,” she said. “The money goes to costumes, bus transportation — our main goal is to try to fulfill whatever the school district doesn’t provide. We sometimes get outside choreographers to come in and help students with choreography, so it really depends on what the needs are for that particular year.”
The Vocal Music Association will continue its fundraising activities with the 18th annual Night of Magic beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at Pickwick Gardens. The evening includes silent and live auctions, dinner and entertainment by the chorale groups. Donations of prizes can be brought to the school. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, contact Michelle Williams at (818) 848-3513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chorale groups will perform a holiday program and then competition season begins in January. The groups will go on tour through Boston and New York City, and then host the chorale competition in March called the Burbank Blast, featuring 40 high school show choirs from throughout the state and beyond. The Pop Show completes the performance year.