Tag Archives: VMA

Burroughs to Broadway Kicks Off the Year

Four musicals will jump from songbook to the stage when Burroughs Vocal Music Assn. presents its annual “Burroughs on Broadway” this weekend.

The show raises funds to help offset the costs of the program’s participation in local and national competitions, and it is the first performance of the year for the four award-winning choirs.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Choir director Brendan Jennings and Powerhouse choir student Brighton Thomas, 16, took a break from rehearsal to talk about the upcoming three-day show, which showcases songs from about 25 musicals.

The show is divided into four sections with each section featuring a different choir group. The Decibelles are doing songs from “Annie” while the Sound Waves are singing selections from the “Tarzan” musical. The Sound Sensations are performing “No, No Nanette” and Powerhouse is doing the finale piece –The Who’s rock opera “Tommy”.

The surprise ending for the Sound Sensations’ segment, Jennings said, is that all 60 women in the chorus will be tap dancing to the final song “I Want to Be Happy”.

“They actually all learned how to tap dance over the summer– the entire group,” he said. “So their rehearsals have been really intense. It’s a huge tap closer to the song. It’s going to be fun and we won’t need to mic the floor. That’s going to be really cool.”Burroughs on Broadway Reh-4

Originally there was an entirely different show planned the first week of school, but the students have been able to acclimate to the change of program that took place the second week of school because of their past experience in the program, Brighton said.

“We go to a three-day camp over a weekend,” she said. “There’s one full day and two half days, and then there are rehearsals and dedication.”

Powerhouse picks up material very quickly, Jennings said, because they have been through other choirs and are pretty well trained.

“They are good musicians and good dancers,” he said.

Students in Powerhouse are also highly motivated, said Brighton, who is playing the role of Tommy’s mother Mrs. Walker.

“It’s a great commitment, so if you are not willing to put everything forth, you won’t be able to do it,” she said. “Everyone here is really willing to do this — we love it!”

The Powerhouse choir comes to school for a 7 a.m. rehearsal that lasts for two hours every morning, Jennings said.

“It’s a phenomenal group of student,” he said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

There is a total of 216 students in all four groups and 59 of those are in Powerhouse. Actually 60 in Powerhouse for this production as Mason Mahay, 10, a Bret Harte fourth-grader is playing young Tommy. He is the brother of Madison Mahay, 16, who is in the Sound Sensations choir and will play the role of Nanette.

“Tommy” is a complex piece in that the students are asked to play a lot of different emotions. It’s not a happy story, Jennings said. Tommy as a child witnesses a traumatic event and after that event, he is in a catatonic state. Then he is abused by all the people around him.

As the show’s lyric goes, Tommy becomes a “Pinball Wizard”.

“It’s easier to play those nicer characters and this is a dark production and the students are having to play meaner, darker characters,” Jennings said. “Then the mood switches. He wakes up from the catatonic state and he’s this total rock star.”

Tommy’s mother wants to know how this kid that they thought was deaf, dumb and blind is this amazing talented person on the pinball game, Brighton said.

Then people become obsessed with him and there is this crazy fan/disciple kind of thing, and Tommy rejects them, and they reject him and it’s an up and down, rollercoaster ride of emotions, Jennings said.

Exploring emotions that are all over the map give students experience for future roles they will be portraying in shows throughout the rest of the year.

“We are concurrently working on classical repertoire in here and Powerhouse has already performed many of those,” he said. “This is a good style vocally to set them up and solidify technique and ensemble and it’s also great to delve into text and emotion and getting the story telling down. When we go to the popular music in the spring, sometimes it’s harder to find the depth in that music but now we’re really getting used to looking at the text and the story and what’s going on.”

“And because ‘Tommy’ is a rock opera,” Brighton interjects, “the music has a little bit more of a pop twist to it more than our other shows do, so that is really helpful for our future shows, that we are able to work with acting as well as that sound rather than just the classical sound, so we can figure out how to perform in a real professional way with a pop song.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Brighton, a junior, believes the two years in choir at Jordan Middle School and three years in choir at Burroughs, have helped her grow in her performance. Early on, she said, she was very nervous and would stand on stage and not be open to putting everything into it.

“This has helped me so much!” she said. “I have [received] a lot stage experience with all the rehearsals and performances that we do and I’m so much more comfortable in front of an audience. I’ve learned a lot of things about working with people because we work with 60 people. It’s important to learn how to work with different personalities. I love it. I wake up and I’m happy to do it at 7 a.m.”

She has found that she applies musical techniques learned in choir to her general education classes.

“What I’ve learned in choir has helped me in my English class, because we analyze text like the lyrics we sing in choir,” she said. “In English class we’ll be analyzing a paper or an essay and I’ll think about where the punctuation is placed in an essay and it reminds me of when to breathe in a song or understand what the author was trying to say. I just recently realized that.”

Choir experience has also helped her stay organized throughout the school year.

“It’s a learning process to figure out how to organize — balance school and choir,” she said, “but once you figure it out, it’s good.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

When the students are in school. they don’t realize how much is being asked of them, Jennings said.

“The expectations are so high just because of the legacy of the program, and the students live up to it and they are always trying to do better than before, better than the group that came before them and I think it’s kind of like they don’t realize how far and how crazy it is what they are doing because it’s what is expected,” he said.

“It’s just you and your friends in a class,” Brighton adds. “It doesn’t click until later, this is a big thing.”

Then the students go on to college and other things, Jennings said.

“They pretty much unanimously come back and say ‘This experience over prepared me for anything that I could have encountered and I learn faster and I process quicker and I have this capability to keep long, hard hours and know how to not give up and how to accept rejection because it’s competitive,” he said.

Choir students are also expected to do well academically, Brighton said, they know they can’t slack off.

But the real lesson, Jennings said, is that in the real world, it’s not about who has the best voice or is the most talented, it comes down to who is the best to work with, who is the most reliable, the most punctual and the most prepared.

Brighton added, that if you have the best voice but you show up late to all your rehearsals, you don’t have the material learned and slack off — nobody wants to work with you.

“And that’s just bad for you,” she said. “Why would you do that to yourself?

In addition to the choirs’ performance, there will be individual students and small groups showcasing other well-known Broadway tunes while interacting with the audience cabaret-style. Premium reserved cabaret seats include a reception buffet prior to the show, and dessert/drink service at one’s own table during the intermission.

Eighth-grade choir students from the middle schools provide the food service, Jennings said.

It’s a lead-in to the high school choir program.

Brighton also was a part of that, she said.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“I was able to come during some rehearsals and I got to meet people and see what goes on behind the scenes, which is really helpful for the next year going into it, and it’s really fun,” she said.

“Burroughs to Broadway” performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Burroughs Auditorium, 1920 W. Clark Ave. Tickets are on sale at www.jbhsvma.com.

“Carroll’s Corral” Kicks Off Burbank’s VMA Year

Burbank High School choirs are off to a rousing start.

Students of the Vocal Music Assn. dressed in jeans, bandanas, plaid shirts and cowboy hats for the third annual “Carroll’s Corral” inside the school’s lunch shelter on Sept. 19. The title is a play on words, using choir director Brett Carroll’s last name and Corral instead of chorale.

 Morna Consoli sings with a group during Burbank High School's "Carroll's Corral" (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Morna Consoli sings with a group during Burbank High School’s “Carroll’s Corral” (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Familiar Western favorites were performed including the title song from the musical “Oklahoma” and “Buttons and Bows”, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in the film “The Paleface” starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell. Between performances, students went to their assigned tables and served up meat or vegetarian chili, cornbread, green salad and lemonade to family and friends. Parents of the Vocal Music Assn. Booster Club cooked up the meal.

The event is the stepping stone for the rest of the year, said Randy Sage, assistant choir director and a choreographer.

“This show trains them for what’s ahead,” he said. To prepare “We did a lot of basic fundamentals vocally — things like breath support [efficient use of a singer’s stream of breath], and placement of the sound [a vocal term referring to resonance]. It’s always a great first fundraiser for us and it’s fun. It gets them out there in front of an audience performing, which is really hard, especially for the young kids.”

Student groups performing were In Sync advanced mixed choir, Out of the Blue intermediate mixed choir, Impressions advanced women’s choir, Sound Dogs men’s choir, and the a cappella groups — the Sirens women’s choir and the Gentlemen’s Octet.

Members range from ninth to 12th grades in the vocal groups.

 Emma Shannon pushes the Frickles or fried pickles in a commercial break from the show (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Emma Shannon pushes the Frickles or fried pickles in a commercial break from the show (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

A lot of the students gain a strong foundation in the show choir programs at the middle schools, he said.

While students will be singing with their groups throughout the year, this first show allows them to sing alongside the more experienced students in the other choirs. The older students serve as mentors and inspire the younger students to aspire to that next level.

Carroll is hoping the students work hard but enjoy it.

“My hopes for the year are that the kids learn and grow along the way like they always do and they have a good time while they are doing it. We want to keep the level of what we are doing at the highest standards so the kids get the best experience possible.”

Four parents won the chance to have choirs sing at events of their choice during the live auction conducted by longtime supporter Shawn Stevens, whose four children went through the program.

Amy Kamm, the PTA Council president, will have the Sirens perform at the Honorary Service Awards dinner in April. Her daughter, Ava, a junior, has been in the program since her freshman year and started singing in choir at Miller Elementary and Muir Middle schools.

“Carroll’s Corral is always a fun event and a great way to kickoff the choir season,” she said.

Willard Woods will have the Sirens perform at his office holiday party for the Writers Guild Pension and Health Fund.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the kids to perform and for the parents, family members and friends to support,” he said. “Mr. Carroll is a wonderful role model for the students and the program produces competitive choirs that are among the top in the country.”

 Entertaining family and friends are, from left, John Briones, Jonathan Zepeda, Logan Shea, Ryan Austin and Aram Krakirian during the Burbank High School Vocal Music Assn. fundraiser (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Entertaining family and friends are, from left, John Briones, Jonathan Zepeda, Logan Shea, Ryan Austin and Aram Krakirian during the Burbank High School Vocal Music Assn. fundraiser (Photo By Joyce Rudolph)

Bidding the highest to have the Gentleman’s Octet perform at their special events were Peter Miller and Shawn Austin.

Funds raised go to the program, which has an annual budget of $400,000. Expenses include bus transportation to competitions, choreographers, costumes and scholarships for students whose family can’t afford the cost to participate, said Ellie Stockwell, president of the Vocal Music Assn. Booster Club.

“It’s an enriching program,” she said. “They learn life skills — how to work together, to be dedicated, responsible and it keeps them out of trouble.”

Stockwell said choir students become so motivated by the program, they work harder in other classes and raise their grade point averages from “Cs” to “As” and “Bs”.

The students devote a lot of time to choir including rehearsals, dress rehearsals and the performances, she added.

“At Pop Show, the last performance of the year, the kids take all they have learned and come up with the choreography for the dances and decide on the music they will sing,” she said.

The Vocal Music Assn. is now gearing up for its next fundraiser “Night of Magic” on Nov. 14 at the Pickwick. There will be food and silent auction. Tickets are $80 and to reserve them, go to BHSvocal.com.

Burbank High School VMA Presents Carroll’s Corral and Cookoff Again Tonight

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)
(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“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.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“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 grinnellgang@sbcglobal.net.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

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.

Burbank High’s ‘Night Of Magic’ Gala Honors Shawn and Kaylene Stevens

Night of Magic -3

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank High School presented its 17th Annual Night of Magic recently at The Pickwick Gardens. The night had surprises, great music, good lighting and most of all, Burbank High School’s Award Winning Choirs under the Direction of Brett Carroll.

Night of Magic 12

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Night of Magic is a showcase of the different choirs and a night of raising money for the Vocal Music Association of Burbank High School.

The evening started with a silent auction of gift baskets with everything from Original Art pieces to scripts signed by famous actors. One basket had enough Disney videos to keep a family with several kids busy for the complete winter break.

Night of Magic -1

Shawn & Kaylene Stevens Honored by Brett Carroll. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

One of the highlights of the evening was, after intermission, when Choir Director Brett Carroll took the floor to honor a long time Burbank High School Choir Support Member.

This year’s recipient of The Honor Council of Voce Ostinato Award was bestowed on Shawn and Kaylene Stevens, who, over the past 17 years, had kids in the choir programs and have held every elected and volunteer position available. The Stevens have always been there providing a helping hand, from making wardrobe pieces to Shawn’s technical assistance back stage.

Night of Magic -8

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

To make the night as fun as possible, there were live auctions between musical numbers with former Principal Bruce Osgood at the microphone. Knowing almost everyone in the room, a pull on the ear or a itch of the nose raised the bid amount. Trips to distant locations, guest appearances from choir members and even front row court side seats at an upcoming Lakers game were auctioned off.

Even though the room had over 300 in attendance, and plenty was raised, the VMA is always in need of donations to carry the program through the year. Their next upcoming event will be their annual Holiday Program next month.

Night of Magic -2

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The choirs that performed were the Out of the Blue, BHS Voices, Sirens, Impressions, Sound Dogs, Gentleman’s Octet and In Sync.

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Sean Holland who has been seen in the feature film ‘The Clueless’,  ‘The Watcher’ and whose additional credits include ‘Any Day Now,’ ‘Parenthood,’ ‘Sister Sister’ and ‘Good Company.’








Burroughs’ Alumnipaluzza Is a Doozah

By Greg Simay
Entertainment Editor

In most other cities, from Twin Falls to Toledo to Tupelo, last night’s “Alumni Pop Show 4” music extravaganza at John Burroughs High School (JBHS) would be the highlight of the summer season.  But for the Vocal Music Association (VMA) alumni, it was more like a jam session of joy, proclaiming to a delighted audience that VMA talent, teamwork and enthusiasm gloriously endures.

Caitlin Ary singing Stairway to Heaven with the Alumni Choir (Photo Courtesy Connie Trimble)

Caitlin Ary singing Stairway to Heaven with the Alumni Choir (Photo Courtesy Connie Trimble)

There were stunning solos, gorgeous guitar work, touching father/daughter duets, engaging trios, and hugely effective song-and-dance ensembles.  The show’s momentum rocketed through the roof and to the summer stars with a “Stairway to Heaven” that The Who would gladly tread upon.

“The first Alumni Pop Show was a tribute to [former VMA Director] Mary Rago on her retirement,” said Brendan Jennings, current JBHS VMA Director.  “But the idea of a reunion event had been floating around for a decade.” Jen Oundjian, JBHS VMA Artistic Director, tracked down the VMA alumni and made it happen. Now the Alumni Pop Show has settled in to a once-every-two-years tradition.

“You have to be very judicious with their time,” remarks Jennings. There’s only three days of rehearsal, with maybe an extra day for the choreography. “But luckily,” continues Jennings, “our faith in their past training has always been vindicated.” As it indeed was last night, with performances that suggested far more extensive preparation.

Alumni Dance Ensemble performing Thift Store  (Photo Courtesy Connie Trimble)

Alumni Dance Ensemble performing Thift Store (Photo Courtesy Connie Trimble)

So what makes the JBHS vocal program special enough to command such fierce loyalty from its alumni? “Two big things,” explains Jennings. “One, our program provides an incredible sense of family. Students form bonds and make friendships that are life long. And two, working yourself as hard as you can in a supportive and safe place, and then achieving something absolutely brilliant that you’ll never forget.”

In their high school years, many teens have their first serious romances, in spite of their parents wanting them to wait until 30 before dating. But how many high school students know what it’s like to reach a level of excellence that commands respect from the real world, a world that consistently demands excellence in sports and entertainment?

VMA students know.  And it’s not just from garnering a whole forest of first-place competition trophies, which lined both sides of the auditorium entrance last night.  “In the last several years, we’ve done a lot of work for corporate events including conventions,” explains Jennings. “We appeared on Oprah back in 2010, and we even did recordings for The Voice during its first three seasons.”

The VMA program is attracting international attention. Visitors from countries as diverse as Australia and China have dropped by to see how they can duplicate VMA’s success. “I went to Singapore for a week,” said Jennings. “And I’m working with Christine DeMore [director of the Jordan Middle School choir] on an educational program for teachers that we’ll roll out June of next year.”

Small wonder that VMA alumni feel grateful for having been in the VMA program.

The Burbank community should feel grateful as well. Come to the concluding performance Sunday, August 25, at 2 p.m. in the JBHS auditorium. Proceeds from the tickets (on sale at JBHSVMA.org) will support VMA’s scholarship program.

* * *

If you want to see how amazing are the current crop of JBHS VMA students, mark your calendar for Burroughs on Broadway, October 11 and 12 at 7 p.m., and October 13 at 2 p.m. Order online at www.jbhsvma.com.

And, you may want to give the Jordan Middle School choir a listen. “They’re one of the best middle school choirs in the county,” remarks Jennings.

Burroughs VMA to Celebrate 35 Years With Special Concert

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association will host a special Alumni “Pop Show” Concert on Saturday, August 24th at 7:00pm and Sunday, August 25th at 2:00pm, in the John Burroughs High School Auditorium.

This year’s event, which has become a biennial tradition, pays tribute to the 35th Anniversary of the JBHS VMA and will feature over 50 VMA alumni performers, including current VMA director Brendan Jennings and artistic director Jen Oundjian.

In addition to a concert, the event will also provide guests with a chance to tour a “museum” of VMA artifacts, including photos, competition costumes, posters and much more from the past three decades.  Attendees will even have an opportunity to take home some of VMA’s coveted trophies as many are retired in order to make room to showcase more recent awards bestowed on the nationally-acclaimed choral program.

Tickets are on sale now at www.JBHSVMA.org and will also be available at the door.  Proceeds from the event will benefit the VMA’s student scholarship offerings.

In 1978, Mary Rago, who at the time was the vocal music director of John Burroughs High School, launched one of the nation’s very first competitive show choir programs. Rago was succeeded as director in 2006 by her former student, Brendan Jennings, who is assisted by artistic director, Jen Oundjian.  Every other August, for the past six years, alumni gather for rehearsals.  The VMA Alumni group supports the Burroughs’ VMA program with donations and fundraising efforts to provide scholarships for current and future student choir members.

The John Burroughs High School Vocal Music Association includes five competitive show choirs, involving over 200 student choir, tech and musical performers.  The program’s advanced mixed choir, POWERHOUSE, has long been recognized as one of the nation’s finest show choirs. An inspiration for the television series “Glee,” POWERHOUSE was invited to perform on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2010 as a representative of the modern high school show choir phenomenon. In recent years, POWERHOUSE has performed opposite the cast of “Glee,” Christina Aguilera, Nelly Furtado, The Canadian Tenors and Foreigner. Additionally, the group was featured in “Gleeful: The Real Show Choirs of America”, a British documentary as well as profiled on the “CBS Evening News.” The choir has traveled and performed in a variety of cities around the U.S., and has twice traveled to Hong Kong to perform in the internationally televised Chinese New Year Parade as other prominent events.

In addition to being named the 2013 National Champions, POWERHOUSE has accumulated countless awards and accolades on both the local and national levels, including Grand Championships at the FAME Hollywood Show Choir Regional Competition; the 2009 FAME National Show Choir Cup in New York, the 2008 FAME Chicago National Show Choir Competition and the 2007 FAME Orlando National Show Choir Competition.

For more information on the John Burroughs High School VMA Show Choirs, go to www.jbhsvma.org

Burbank High’s VMA Serves Up a Flurry of Fun

Matt Hiett preforms ‘By My Side’ (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank High’s VMA presented ‘Dashing Through The Show a Flurry of Fun’ Thursday evening with another show to be presented Friday night at 7:30 in the Burbank High Auditorium.

Guest Choir John Muir’s ‘Girls Next Door’ preform during Burbank High School’s Dashing Through The Show a flurry of Fun. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The show, under the Direction of Brett Carroll with help from his long time assistant Donna Dandino,  known as Mama D, will be leaving her position after this show to join family back east, when she broke the news to the kids the tears flowed for everyone.

This years showed included students from John Muir’s Middle school’s choir program.

Tickets are available for Friday evenings show at the door.


Guest Choir John Muir’s ‘Girls Next Door’ preform during Burbank High School’s Dashing Through The Show a flurry of Fun. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A yearly tradition with Alumni joining ‘BHS’s ‘In Sync” with ‘Oh Holy Night’ ( Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank High’s ‘In Sync’ brings the house down with this song ‘Bit of Holiday Cheer’ (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

‘Night of Magic’ is a Fundraising Success for Burbank High

Burbank Students preform at 'Night of Magic' (Photo By Ross A, Benson)


The Burbank High School’s Vocal Music Association held their biggest fundraiser of the year, ‘The Night Of Magic Gala’, held at The Pickwick Gardens for the fifteenth year.   The evening started of with a silent auction with hundreds of items donated, including trips for two to all ends of the globe, helicopter rides over Los Angeles, and gift baskets containing everything from jewelery to CD’s, makeup, sports items and more.

Members of the different music groups preformed for the 350 plus guests in attendance. The night included a couple of ‘Live Auctions’ with guest auctioneer and former school Principal Bruce Osgood, who was in rare form as he pushed trips, artworks, and even a pet ‘Toto’.  During the evening the Choir Director presented Joshua Greene with a presentation thanking him for all his music and talent charts and more throughout the years. This marks the 10th year Brett Carroll has been with Burbank High as Vocal Music instructor. The choirs now get ready for their Holiday Music Spectacular to be held in December.

Capacity Crowd Enjoys “Burroughs on Broadway”

Photso By Ross A. Benson


 Members of the John Burroughs High School’s Powerhouse, Sound Sensations, Sound Waves and Decibels, preformed “Burroughs On Broadway” Friday and Saturday evenings to capacity crowds.  Members preformed to numbers from Mary Poppins, Chicago,  Hairspray and In The Heights where students wowed the crowd and preformed to a technically stuffed show. The final performance will be on Sunday at 2:00pm and there are still tickets available. This event is one of the  Burroughs Vocal Music Association’s major fundraisers for the year.