Choirs ready to blast off at show

Burbank High and John Muir Middle schools will be part of a festival featuring 500 young singers.

January 26, 2008|By Rachel Kane

Burbank’s high school show choirs are more than used to competition.

But this weekend’s Burbank Blast Show Choir Festival, where six of Southern California’s top show choir groups will sing on the same stage, is not about winning.

About 500 students of different skill levels from five high schools and one Burbank middle school, John Muir, will run through their competition material and receive critiques from three nationally known judges.


The festival, which precedes the choirs’ competition season, will be an opportunity for the students to hone their skills, learn new ones and get friendly with their soon-to-be rivals.

“It’s really nice to have an event where we don’t have to feel that competitive edge,” said Brett Carroll, Burbank High School’s show choir director.

“Where we can kind of be social and learn something and get prepared for the season . . . It’s kind of like a sports game where you come up and shake hands first.”

Hosted by Burbank High School, the festival will feature show choir groups performing every 30 minutes in the auditorium.

They will either perform their competition routines, which will be seen and judged in the coming weeks when the Southern Californian circuit begins, or other material they want to show off or feel needs work.

But there will be no judging, trophies or ribbons handed out to place their choirs in the show, unlike most preseason show choir events hosted at other schools.

“Our event is unique in the idea that we wanted to offer something a bit different and new,” Carroll said.

This year’s will mark the first time Burbank High School has hosted a pre-tournament season event, and Carroll said he wanted it to be a kickoff to competition rather than a real showdown.

“It’s definitely a good thing, because it puts you out there in a non-competition setting where you don’t really have to worry about getting a trophy,” said Koreen Valtierra, 17. She’s a member of the advanced women’s choir at Burbank High School.

“It’s just to see where you’re at right now so you can better prepare for the competition season,” Koreen said.

There will also be hourly workshops held at the school on improvisational acting, contemporary dancing and dance technique.

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