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They survived a grueling regimen of practices, learning new songs and routines, and even a show-stopping earthquake . And now, Brea-Olinda High School’s Advanced Girls’ Show Choir, “Spellbound,” has traveled to the FAME competition in Chicago and brought home a national championship. The Advanced Mixed Show Choir, “Masquerade,” reportedly brought home an excellent 5th place national finish. They arrive back at the high school at around 2:00. I’ll miss the parade — I assume that there is a parade, right? — because at that time I have an intimate Democratic Party meeting about another matter.
[FULL DISCLOSURE: OK, fine, I'm biased. That's my daughter, after all.]
Show Choir competition is like boxing, in that different ruling bodies use rankings and victories in certain competitions to decree who finished first. Another school with a legitimate claim to a national title (or nearly so) via other competition is Los Alamitos High School. The choirs at Cypress High School also did very well this year. But, on the national stage, the FAME competition holds special … well, fame.
An unnamed freshman posted a photo of her holding the Show Choir equivalent of the Stanley Cup along with a few words celebrating the victory. That freshman was informed that we really don’t have room for a trophy of that size in our house, and I was informed that that will not be a problem: the school can display it.
To be more serious for a moment, as a Show Choir parent I can say that this activity, under the completely fantastic leadership of Dave Willert and his amazing staff, teaches character and work ethic and excellence as well as anything else that I’ve ever seen in high school. (Yes, Santa Ana Councilman and Fullerton High School champion coach Sal Tinajero, even as much as speech and debate.)
Arts activities and extracurricular activities should be an option — they should be available for all children in all levels of school. They matter. I can show you 100 or more people this year at just one high school to show evidence that they matter. And if the learning they provide costs us a little more in tax money, so that our expert teachers can impart those lessons, it is money especially well spent.
Congratulations to the champions of Spellbound and the virtually unexceeded young artists of Masquerade. And congratulations to ever other student — and their parents — who have been able to integrate this sort of extracurricular activities into their lives.
(Now get back to work! Finals will be here before you know it!)