Tag Archives: jbhs vma

Burroughs High Choirs Present “Burroughs On Broadway”

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association presents its annual Burroughs On Broadway show Friday through Sunday, October 11 – 13, in the school auditorium.

“Audiences should expect a mixture of old favorites like “Singing in the Rain,” “Guys and Dolls,” and “Camelot” as well as songs from the recent shows like Hamilton, Waitress, and Anastasia,” said JBHS VMA Choir Director Brendan Jennings. “The audience will laugh, cry and go on a journey through the music and dance of Broadway.”

Image Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association.

The cabaret fundraiser has become a favorite show for the VMA to put on. For those who select the reserved cabaret seats, that ticket includes a reception buffet prior to the show, lounge style seating and dessert/drink service at the table during the intermission.

Tickets are $52 for premium reserved cabaret seats, $26 for reserved side orchestra seats and $20 general admission/$15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased in advance online here or at the box office in advance of the show.

Showtimes are 7:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12, and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 13. Those purchasing cabaret seats arrive for the cabaret reception at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The John Burroughs High School auditorium is located at 1920 W. Clark Street in Burbank. More information about the JBHS VMA can be found on their website.

Burroughs’ Pop Show 40 Aims High With “Change The World”

For the past 40 years, the annual Pop Show presented by John Burroughs High School choir students has been one of the most popular performances for the students and the Burbank community. Pop Show 40: Change The World is no different, showcasing some of the school’s best talent from solo and small groups to big performances by the several show choirs.

A cappella groups and the choir’s Dance Ensemble also perform. Students in Tech Crew class manage the stage and run the lights and sound for the shows.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

The JBHS VMA presents four shows in total from Friday, February 22, through Sunday, February 24, in the school auditorium.

“It’s amazing that the Pop Show tradition has not only lasted, but grown and grown over the past 40 years,” commented Burroughs choir director Brendan Jennings.

“We are so grateful to all of the alumni, parents and community members that have built the legacy which my students now strive to build upon. The talent is jaw-dropping… I’m so excited for everyone to see the show!”

(Photo By Ross Benson)

Tickets prices vary: $30 for orchestra level assigned seating, and general admission for the balcony is $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors.

Tickets are available for the three remaining shows – Saturday, February 23, at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m. They can be purchased in advance here or at the box office ahead of the opening curtain.

(Photo By Ross Benson)

John Burroughs High School is located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank. More information on the JBHS VMA can be found here.

 

JBHS VMA “Project Listen” Benefits Teen Line

John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association presents “Project Listen,” a concert to benefit Teen Line on Wednesday evening, May 23.

teen line

Image Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association.

Teen Line is a nonprofit community-based organization that helps teenagers address their problems.

“It is our mission to provide personal teen-to-teen education and support before problems become a crisis, using a national hotline, current technologies and community outreach,” states the organization.

The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Admission is free, but the JBHS VMA will be accepting donations for Teen Line’s work in the community.

John Burroughs High School Auditorium is located at 1920 W. Clark Avenue in Burbank.

JBHS VMA Performs Pop Show Unplugged

John Burroughs High School choir members held their annual Pop Show Unplugged on Saturday, January 20, at The Colony Theatre.

The program of more than 20 songs ran for about 80 minutes. Students performed two sets that evening, featuring popular songs such as “Lemonade,” “Landslide,” “Misbehavin'” and “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay.”

pop show unplugged

Photo By Ross A. Benson

 

“Pop Show Unplugged is one of my favorite shows of the year because it allows the students to experience a more intimate venue and casual vibe,” commented JBHS Vocal Music Director Brendan Jennings. “This type of acoustic setting is how many artists get started, so its good practice for these future professionals.”

Upcoming performances for the JBHS VMA are Pop Show #39 Can’t Stop The Feeling on March 1 -4 and the Spring Concert on May 18. More information on the Burroughs High School choir program can be found here.

Photo By Ross A. Benson

Choir members will also perform alongside Drama, Play Production and Instrumental Music Program students for the annual all-school musical. This year, the production is Grease, which will run February 9-11 in the JBHS auditorium.

 

 

JBHS VMA Releases “Silent Night” Single As Fundraiser

John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association recently released “Silent Night” on the digital music platform Bandcamp as a fundraiser for the school’s choir program. About 20 students from JBHS Powerhouse and Vocal Ensemble recorded the track, featuring Concrete Blonde vocalist Johnette Napolitano, on December 4.

Produced by Rocco Guarino, “Silent Night” also highlights the vocals of JBHS senior Aubrianna Rohan, who performed the song at the school’s annual Holiday Spectacular, the combined Instrumental and Vocal Music Programs’ winter concert.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The JBHS choir students “were very, very talented,” commented Guarino. “I was really surprised. We only needed one or maybe two takes and we were done. And, Johnette was great; she was amazing.”

The “Silent Night” release is part of a larger recording project headed by Todd Jensen, who’s son participates in the JBHS VMA program. Several songs have been recorded to date and are available on the JBHS VMA page on Bandcamp. They are part of a planned 14-song compilation called “Raise Your Voice” that began taking shape in 2015 and features mostly original material penned by the students.

The songs are available exclusively on Bandcamp, which pays the highest percentage of sales to the artist compared to other digital music services. Out of every dollar spent on musical downloads, 85 cents is paid to JBHS VMA, explained Jensen.

“It’s been a pleasure helping them out,” said Guarino, who donated his time to produce two tracks so far. “I had a lot of people helping me out in my career and it’s important to send the elevator back down and help others.”

The “Silent Night” recording session came together quickly in early December, with North Hollywood’s ReadyMix Music donating recording space, equipment and engineer time. Owned and operated by Paul Horabin and Sarah Taylor, the studio first connected with members of JBHS VMA who went in to record a track as the group LA Noize in August.

Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association

Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association

“I owe my musical foundation to the public schools I attended,” commented Taylor. “Aside from session work and running the studio,  I have also done several fundraisers with kids [for the] National Arthritis Foundation, The Help Group, Friends of the Family and volunteer every year to produce Madison Middle School’s talent show.”

“What a beautiful arrangement of ‘Silent Night,'” added Taylor. “Johnette killed it. I think this is one of the best performances of ‘Silent Night’ I’ve heard.”

“Johnette was so professional to work with,” commented Rohan. “She knew exactly how to get things done and it was so amazing to be able to watch a real-life recording artist work their magic in a studio!”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“During this experience, I learned how incredibly quiet you have to be in the studio at all times, whether it’s just you singing or an entire group of people,” added Rohan, who has been in a recording studio for voice-over work when younger. “That’s how you get the best results for a track.”

“This experience is one I will never forget. ‘Silent Night’ is such a beautiful song and is definitely one of my favorites during the holiday season,” she continued. “Getting to sing this song with Johnette Napolitano and a bunch of my friends in choir was a once in a lifetime experience!”

“The VMA is a wonderful program that changes people’s lives through the appreciation of music. It incorporates many different styles from classical to pop and it has been a marvelous way to share my love of music with people who feel the same way!”

JBHS VMA accompanist Dan Scoville performed the backing piano track on the “Silent Night” recording. The Burroughs choirs are directed by Brendan Jennings.

“Silent Night” is available here for $1. A six song package, including a 2015 live version of “Anything Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama’s John Easdale and the JBHS VMA, is available for $5.95 on the site.

Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association

Photo Courtesy John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association

Burbank Student Named Great American Songbook Foundation Youth Ambassador

John Burroughs High School senior Brighton Thomas was named 2016 Youth Ambassador for the Great American Songbook Foundation on Saturday, July 23. Thomas was selected from a field of 40 high school vocalists at the annual Songbook Academy held July 16-23 on the campus of the Center for Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana.

Thomas sang the American standards “It Had to be You” and “Happy Days Are Here Again” for the finals. She was selected for the Songbook Academy competition with two video submissions of “Someone To Watch Over Me” and “Don’t Rain On My Parade.”

John Burroughs High School senior Brighton Thomas (center) won the 2016 Great American Songbook Foundation's Youth Ambassador award. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

John Burroughs High School senior Brighton Thomas (center) won the 2016 Great American Songbook Foundation’s Youth Ambassador award. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

During the week of the Songbook Academy, the forty finalists participated in small workshops and private masterclasses with musicians and educators such as Janis Siegel, Sylvia McNair, Catherine Walker and Michael Feinstein.

Thomas has had a whirlwind experience at the Songbook Academy competition, she related in a recent interview. She was randomly selected to participate in a public masterclass with Michael Feinstein and Marc Cherry, broadcast live on Facebook the afternoon of Wednesday, July 20.

She then performed her two selections in a live showcase with the rest of the competitors on Thursday, July 21, and found out later that night she was chosen as a soloist for the culminating performance and one of the Top 10 finalists.

Brighton Thomas, a senior at John Burroughs High School, competes in the 2016 Great American Songbook Foundation finals. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

Brighton Thomas, a senior at John Burroughs High School, competes in the 2016 Great American Songbook Foundation finals. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

On Friday, the finalists received a makeover at the neighboring Salon 01 and sat in on masterclasses with Marc Cherry and Jarrod Spector. On Saturday, the Top 10 soloists got hair and makeup done and then relaxed before their final performances.

“This was my first time entering the competition, which I heard about first from my grandfather, who is a huge fan of and advocate for the American Songbook,” commented Thomas. “I’m most excited to share this iconic music with my peers and I can’t wait to live my dream of performing in legendary venues across the United States for the next year.”

The JBHS senior was introduced to the music of the American Songbook – a term for the most important American popular songs and jazz standards of the 20th Century – by her grandfather who produced an American Songbook-themed show on the radio.

Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland are two of her musical inspirations. Thomas is currently President of the 2016-17 JBHS VMA Choir and has been a member of the top Powerhouse choir, under the direction of Brendan Jennings, for a few years. She plans to study musical theater in college.

Songbook Inspiration Award winner Sam Mulligan of Mount Zion, IL; Songbook Youth Ambassador Brighton Thomas of Burbank, CA; and Songbook Celebration Award winner Matt Hoffman of Stony Brook, NY. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

Songbook Inspiration Award winner Sam Mulligan of Mount Zion, IL; Songbook Youth Ambassador
Brighton Thomas of Burbank, CA; and Songbook Celebration Award winner Matt Hoffman of Stony Brook, NY. (Photo Courtesy Great American Songbook Foundation)

As the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador, Thomas serves for one year and will have several opportunities to perform with two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award nominated entertainer and founder of The Great American Songbook Foundation, Michael Feinstein.

Past Youth Ambassador performance opportunities have included multiple appearances with Feinstein, including Jazz at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, along with performances at the Kennedy Center, the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Gala with Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Johnny Mathis and Jimmy Webb, singing the National Anthem at NFL games and an appearance with Pasadena Pops.

 

JBHS Students Entertain With “Hairspray”

Students in the drama, musical theater, vocal and instrumental music and dance programs at John Burroughs High School entertained nearly two thousand attendees over three shows this past weekend, February 5-7, with the musical Hairspray.

Directed by JBHS Drama Director Guy Myers, the student stage production of the musical adaptation of John Waters’ movie Hairspray, took audiences back to the early 1960s Baltimore, complete with overt racism and strict gender roles.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Junior Aubrianna Rohan, in the role of protagonist Tracy Turnblad, impressed with her vocal skills and acting chops.

Students from JBHS’ world-renowned vocal music program, directed by Brendan Jennings who also provided vocal direction for Hairspray, wowed the crowd with their singing and harmonizing.

Many of the students gave stand-out performances, including junior Zach Guerrero in the role of Tracy’s mother Edna Turnblad, made famous on the screen and stage by Divine and John Travolta.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

As Edna’s husband Wilbur, junior Sully Zack provided spot-on comic moments and an eye-popping array of colorful garb from the 1960s.

Senior Madison Mayer, as the antagonist Velma Von Tussle, was in excellent form as well.

A live orchestra conducted by JBHS Instrumental Music head Taylor Arakelian included many students from the high school instrumental music program.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Tech, lighting and stage support, under the direction of Jon King, was carried out by JBHS students in the Tech Crew program. Tech Crew put together the actual sets from the Las Vegas production of Hairspray, complete with lights, doors, engines and mechanical parts.

Burroughs High School’s Drama and Musical Theater program puts on two plays and one musical every year. Next up for the thespians will be George Washington Slept Here on May 6, 7 and 8.

Burroughs Music And Comedy Night Entertains Full House At The Colony

Students, friends and family all turned out to support the Burroughs Music And Comedy Night fundraiser with a full house at The Colony Theatre Tuesday evening, November 10.

A collaboration between students in the John Burroughs High School Drama and Vocal Music programs, the evening raised money towards offsetting the cost of the annual mainstage musical at the school.

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

(Photo By Lisa Paredes)

The 2015-16 season mainstage musical is Hairspray which runs February 5-7, 2016, on the Burroughs High School stage.

Many of the cast members of Hairspray performed songs, selected with the guidance of Drama Director Guy Myers and Vocal Music Director Brendan Jennings. Students from the Improv Club and Drama classes also presented comedic skits and improv games, drawing laughter from the audience.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

JBHS Drama next production is Inherit The Wind, on November 20, 21 and 22. The Burroughs Vocal Music Association’s next choir performance is the annual Holiday Spectacular on December 11, 12 and 13.

 

JBHS Drama And Choir Present A Night Of Comedy, Improv And Musical Theater At The Colony

John Burroughs High School students in the drama, musical theater and choir programs put on a night of comedy, improv games and musical numbers Tuesday evening, November 10, at The Colony Theatre in Burbank.

The annual fundraiser showcases performances by students in the upcoming mainstage musical, Hairspray, and comedic skits and improv from drama students. Now in its sixth year, the Burroughs High School Music & Comedy Night marks its second year on the stage at The Colony Theatre.

jbhsdrama2015

“Mr. Jennings and I help students select songs and improv games for the event,” explained Guy Myers, JBHS Drama Director, referring to JBHS Vocal Music Association Director, Brendan Jennings.

“Many students from our Improv Club also attend, so you never know who will wind up onstage in the middle of a game! This year features many classics from Broadway musicals as well as some hilarious newer material.”

Members of the JBHS Improv Crew perform at The Colony Theatre in this file photo from October 2014 .(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Members of the JBHS Improv Crew perform at The Colony Theatre in this file photo from October 2014 .(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“The purpose of the event is to help fund the mainstage musical Hairspray being put on February fifth and sixth at 7:00 p.m. and on February seventh at 12:00 p.m.,” added Myers. “With the rising costs of producing a mainstage musical, this great opportunity wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of the community to keep arts education alive in our schools.”

Tickets are $25 general admission for adults and $10 for students and seniors and include refreshments. Desserts and drinks will provided by Luther Burbank Middle School’s Catering Class under the direction of Lisa Raluy.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the curtain rises at 7:00 p.m. The Colony Theatre is located at 555 N. Third Street in Burbank. Parking is available in the parking structure on the corner of Third Street and Cypress Avenue.

Nick Apostolina and Matt Bond lead the Music & Comedy Night cast in a rousing rendition of the Blues Brothers' "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" in this file photo from October 2014. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Nick Apostolina and Matt Bond lead the Music & Comedy Night cast in a rousing rendition of the Blues Brothers’ “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” in this file photo from October 2014. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Drama Brings Out The Laughs With “Guys And Dolls”

Burroughs High School’s Dramatic Association, along with the Vocal and Instrumental Music Associations, collaborated for a presentation of Guys and Dolls on February 6, 7 and 8. The popular musical showcased the obviously talented voices and polished acting chops of Burroughs High School students. In a word, the musical production was fun.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The audience laughed often at the antics of Nicely-Nicely Johnson (Sully Zack) and his buddies, eternally gambling and on the make, and Miss Adelaide (Samantha Rubin) with her continual cold. Rubin pulled off a very convincing New York accent, even in song.

Robin Mazer’s proper Sarah Brown tries to save the sinner Sky Masterson (Nick Nikoian) and winds up finding something more about herself instead. Mazer, too, impressed with her vocal range.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Directed by Drama teacher Guy Meyers, the young thespians worked convincingly on the stage and never seemed to miss a beat. The actors inhabited their roles and brought the well-known Guys And Dolls characters to life.

Powerful group harmonies in the musical numbers held the audience’s rapt attention, while solo performances  impressed all around. Vocal Music head Brendan Jennings provided direction for the solo and group vocals. The show’s music was performed by a pit orchestra conducted by Instrumental Music Director Tana Barnett.

(Photo By Ross A. Benson)

(Photo By Ross A. Benson)

Acting chops, vocal chops, musical chops – Burroughs’ Performing Arts Department does it again, putting together another excellent musical production, their sixth such collaboration, relying on the talents of teenagers. Supported by a large team of tech staff, the sets, transitions, lights and all the elements of a professional production allowed the high schoolers to shine.

Burroughs’ Drama Association’s next performance will be in May, when the high school actors present Thornton Wilder’s Our Town. The VMA’s next show is Pop Show 35 on February 27, 28 and March 1. “LIVE! At The Burroughs Bowl” in May will be the IMA’s fifth annual outdoor ampitheatre event showcasing film and television scores.

More information on JBHS Drama, Vocal Music Association and Instrumental Music Association can be found on their websites.