Fraser’s Arts Academy Choir member Chanell Marko.
Although facing much larger schools operating on bigger budgets, a video featuring the Arts Academy Choir is running neck-and-neck with its top competition in this year's Glee Give a Note Contest.
Coral director Kristina Vidal could not be prouder of what her choir has achieved in a matter of weeks. "A lot of the members were seniors who graduated last year so this is a whole new group," said Vidal. "Their flexibility and what they can do? They sing classical, jazz, pop. They're up for anything and for them to just drop everything for two weeks and dedicate themselves to this project - it's inspiring."
In support of their choir and their own dreams, students at the 10-year-old charter school in Fraser, which has less than 300 enrollees, decorated the walls, inside and out. On any given day, you'll find young performers practicing in the halls, gymnasium and even outside on the sidewalk. Administrators liken their school to the set of "Fame" rather than the Michigan Merit Curriculum High School that it is.
The "Glee Give A Note" contest is sponsored by Fox and the creator of the popular television series "Glee," Ryan Murphy, along with the National Association for Music Education whose mission is to give at-risk music programs the chance to get a much-needed boost when it comes to dealing with budget reductions. By visiting the "Glee Give A Note" website, people can vote for their favorite music program. The contest is awarding a total of $1 million to music programs in the form of 73 different prizes, consisting of three $50,000 grand prizes, 10 $25,000 first prizes and 60 $10,000 second prizes.
"This is the first time we've ever entered," Vidal said. The first round of voting ends Monday, and as long as the AAW choir stays on its present pace, its chances of making it into the second round look good.
"AAW students will tell you, as one student does at the video's end, 'The Arts Academy in the Woods saved my life,' " said Maxwell Spayde, principal at the school. "A haven for creative, innovative and unique students, many of whom experienced bullying at their old schools, AAW offers fine and performing arts classes in addition to rigorous academics. The video speaks for itself. This is a school that does not stop believing."
The second round will be coming up and there's a good chance the small charter school from Fraser will be among the schools competing. Follow them at Glee Give A Note