By Greg Simay
myBurbank Entertainment Editor
Guess what? In trying to do right by our students, we’ve wound up creating two performing arts centers.
On February 28, I had been to Pop Show 35, presented by the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association (JBHS VMA.) And maybe some of you had seen their final performance on Sunday, March 2, and then a few hours later, had watched the Academy Awards.
If so, then maybe you also agree with the following:
1) The performances ranged from superior-for-high-school all the way to out-and-out professional. To cite just one example: When I heard the VMA soloist belt out Skyfall, I thought she more than held her own with Adele’s version at the 2013 Academy Awards. (I re-listened to Adele on U-Tube and stand by that opinion.)
2) And speaking of the Academy Awards: If some disaster had befallen the Dolby Theatre in the months leading to the 2014 Academy Awards, the show organizers could do worse than commandeering the JBHS auditorium or, for that matter the one at Burbank High School (BHS.) (I’ll pass on how they would handle the logistics of red carpet hoopla along Clark St.)
Our high school auditoriums have become performing arts centers. For anyone who has seen performances at either high school, you’ve seen the studio-quality lighting effects, heard the studio-quality sound systems. And above all, amazing young talent inspired by amazing teachers.
This is what happens with real community support that puts soapbox rhetoric to shame.
And now a suggestion from one who admires the amazing things that have been accomplished: Let the stars not only see what you’ve done, but participate. Invite the pros to sing along with the sophomores. Invite Burbank success stories Tim Burton and Ron Howard to tell industry stories with film clips and any bells and whistles they want.
There are all kinds of possibilities, and they boil down to this: The high schools, with strong community support, have created a supportive, professional-quality space in which talent can blossom. I think there are a lot of industry pros that would love to visit that space and interact with the students that have been shaped by it.
Burbank community and educators: You’ve created a success greater than maybe even you had imagined. Time to embrace it fully.