BHS choirs light up NYC

April 07, 2004

Mark R. Madler

While rehearsing in a Broadway dance studio in New York City, the

Burbank High School show choirs received some visitors -- singers

from Broadway productions who thought a rival show was practicing.

Told they were hearing high school students, the singers were

"blown away," Burbank director Brett Carroll said.

"They couldn't believe it [was high school students]," Carroll



Those Broadway professionals learned what the judges in the Fame

Show Choir America competition were to find out March 27 -- that the

Burbank school's In Sync and Impressions choirs are the tops.

In Sync left New York City as the grand champion of the

competition, a first for Burbank High. In the final competition

against five other schools, the 44-member In Sync group was voted No.

1 by seven of nine judges.

In Sync member Samantha Schwartz, 16, said the group was in shock

after being named the winners.

"This was our first year where we had a chance to win," Samantha

said. "We would have been happy with whatever we got, but to win

first was more than we expected."

Winning the competition has motivated a lot of the members and

might attract other students to join, said Jason Chang, vice

president of the group.

"In my four years with the group, it's been a roller coaster,"

said Jason, 17. "But this year we feel we've established a foundation

for years to come."

Impressions, the 40-member all-women group, was first runner-up in

the unisex division.

"They also got an award for best female sound," Carroll said. "And

they got an award for best horn section."

Being named the grand champions at a national show choir

competition will go a long way to boosting the reputation of not only

the school but also the state, Carroll said.

"California has not been well represented at a number of these

competitions," he said. "We are making a big name for California."

Winning a national cham- pionship raises the expectation that the

show choirs will be pursued for other competitions.

The choirs will perform later this month at the Southern

California Performance Choir Invitational in San Diego.

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