California Educator

June 2011

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The original What makes a school’s T hey may not be menaced by an evil gym teacher or get splashed in the face with slushies regularly, but students belong- ing to John Burroughs High School’s glee club and their choral teacher, Brendan Jen- nings, are the real-life inspiration behind “Glee,” the hit television show on Fox. hies r The show’s pilot was filmed in the school’s band room, and the set was modeled on it. Last year, members of Powerhouse, one of three competing glee choirs at the school, per- formed with the “Glee” cast on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” where they were introduced 8 California Educator | JUNE 2011 as the “glee club behind the show.” Power- house also performed with “Glee” stars at the season 2 premiere cast party at Paramount Studios and were visited in their choir class by cast members Cory Monteith (Finn Hudson), Matthew Morrison (Will Schuester) and Am- ber Riley (Mercedes Jones), who wanted their perspective on what it’s like to be in glee club. “It was in the middle of a normal day, and they came walking in the door, and we all turned around and did a double take and said OMG,” reports student Justin Fallon. “You don’t normally see TV stars walk into choir work a classroom. It was a huge surprise.” Powerhouse may have an affiliation with the show, but members enjoy plenty of success on their own, under the direction of Jennings, a member of the Burbank Teachers Associa- tion. Among the group’s accomplishments are winning the 2008 Chicago Show Choir Cham- pionship and then winning the 2009 National Show Choir Championship in New York. In February, Powerhouse and Jennings traveled to Hong Kong to perform for the internation- ally televised Cathay Chinese New Year Night Parade, and in October, Powerhouse appeared

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