Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 22, 2011

Kokomo High School choir competes for grant

Members ask the community to go online to vote.

Kokomo — Kokomo High School choir director Cheressa Lawson is not a “Gleek,” or devoted fan of the television show “Glee.”

She has watched it from time to time, though, and said while it is fiction, some parts ring true, especially the group’s struggle for funding.

She has a small budget to fund five choirs, including the Karisma show choir, vocal jazz, chamber choir, ninth-grade concert choir and chorale.

That is why she has applied for a Glee Give a Note grant. Kokomo is one of 10 Indiana high schools accepted into the competition. There are nearly 400 schools competing nationwide.

The Lewis Cass Jr.-Sr. High School choir also is in the competition.

Now, Lawson and her choir members are asking the Kokomo community to help them receive a grant by voting at gleegiveanote.com.

Karisma member Telisha Davis said they entered the competition by making a video, showing the choir trying to practice, but its equipment keeps breaking and there is no money to fix it.

“This choir department really means a lot to the students who are in it,” she said.

Karisma member Emily McDaniel said some members have a hard time affording to be in the program because of expensive costumes. She added that they also have to pay for an expensive piano repair this year.

Nolan Vent thinks they would be more competitive if they won a grant, because they could buy some of the costumes and props the choirs they compete with have in their shows.

“We will have one costume change and that’s it. Schools after us have a light show, these huge props, four or five costume changes. I feel like we have the talent to work with those things. We just don’t have the resources to work with them. I feel like this money would open more opportunities for the whole department.

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