Students from the John Burroughs High School Vocal Music program will perform popular hits from the 1980s for the Total Eclipse of the Stream show via the Twitch platform on Saturday, June 27, on the VMA’s ShowChoir channel.
Current and recently graduated JBHS choir performers for Total Eclipse of the Stream include Juju Blevins, Darby Nealis, Angelee Valdez, Bridget Barrera, Daniel Coscia, Ellie Mohler, Jacob Levine, Kaylor Toronto, Lauren Duncanson, Lexi Adair, Maddie Flores, Rhett Hemingway, Samantha Gonzalez and Sonya Dadekian.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed schools in mid-March, the award-winning John Burroughs High Vocal Music program has had to adjust its approach, which relied heavily on live large-group performances in competitions and shows to raise funds for the program and provide stage experience for choir members.
“Starting the Twitch Channel is really about building a LIVE space,” explained choir teacher and program director Brendan Jennings. “Nothing will ever replace the live theater experience, but other sites (like YouTube Live or Facebook Live) don’t have the same functions to really create a full SHOW and gives the audience the chance to interact in the chat (Twitch really encourages that participation.)”
“Right now, there are a lot of summer camps and activities that aren’t there for kids… we are producing all of these shows to give our students the chance to stay active in the performing arts, while building a platform that will benefit us during the school year,” he added.
“The main strategy for the VMA going into next year is keeping everything flexible,” Jennings continued. “We are making plans for shows in case they have to be virtual and the kids have to rehearse and possibly even record themselves at home, BUT, also planning for gradations of that where we can record small groups at school and set up the stage as a sound stage/recording studio.”
“AND… if at some point of the year we can go back to having live audiences, we want the schedule to be flexible enough to take advantage of that as well,” he also said. “Long story short… the students will have the FULL educational experience no matter what, but the exact details may change.”
For those who subscribe to the ShowChoir Twitch channel on a monthly basis, which starts as low as $4.99 per month, the JBHS VMA will receive half of all subscriber revenue. JBHS VMA also gets a small of amount of money for ads that play on the channel when viewers log in, so even just watching the shows without subscribing helps raise funds for the program.
For those who’d like to donate directly to the Burroughs Vocal Music program, there is a donation button on the Twitch ShowChoir page as well.
Burroughs VMA has a concert series planned for the summer, beginning with Total Eclipse of the Stream on June 27. Other shows on the schedule, which feature current VMA students and alumni, are comedy show Up Twitch Creek on Saturday, July 11, at 5:00 p.m., songwriter showcase VMA Originals on Friday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m. and gender-swapped songs in Broadway Backwards on Saturday, July 25, at 7:00 p.m.
The Twitch ShowChoir channel also features weekly shows Suppertime with the Baldwins (Thursdays at 7:00 p.m.) in which JBHS alumni Sydney and Cooper Baldwin lead a weekly comedy cabaret with special guests, Show Choir Famous (Tuesdays at 5:00 p.m. beginning July 7) during which show choir students from across the United States compete for the title of “Show Choir Famous” and Show Choir Sundays (Sundays at 5:00 p.m.) which features a different school each week, highlighting each school’s director or choreographer and some of their big performances.
Produced by Blaise and Elisa Hemingway, Total Eclipse of the Stream premieres at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, on https://www.twitch.tv/showchoir. All times noted are Pacific Standard Time.