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Burbank High choir, inspiration for 'Glee,' in financial trouble

May 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A local high school choir that inspired the hit TV series "Glee" is in danger of being shut down.

It's one of the best programs in the state, arguably one of the best programs in the country. But with state funding cuts, the Burbank High School choir program requires lots of outside funding.

They're hoping their annual show will keep the program out of the red. They need $20,000 to $25,000 to keep going.

The Burbank Choir Association's upcoming show is elaborate and sophisticated with fancy costumes and professional sound and lighting. This kind of production value costs money, and therein lies the rub.

Brett Carroll is the director of Burbank's High's Vocal Music Association. His choir programs have won national recognition but with donations down, money is tight.

"There is the danger of losing the program if we're not careful," Carroll said. "In the past we've put all the money we've made back into the shows for the kids, but right now we have to make money to support the other things we do throughout the year."

Starting Thursday night, all five competitive choirs at Burbank High will stage a two-hour extravaganza, hoping to raise enough money to stay afloat.

The performers hope their show will attract big crowds.

"It's going to be awesome," Burbank High senior and performer April Kiyomihishinuma said. "All the good acts are going to be compacted into one super show."

The participating students say the Vocal Association provides them with opportunities they would never get elsewhere.

The big pop show will be staged at Burbank High's auditorium on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Tickets are $20 to $25.

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