Cherokee Elementary School music teacher Brittani McInturff wants each of her students to be able to play an instrument while in her class.
Unfortunately, many of the drums, xylophones and other instruments McInturff uses throughout the day are worn out or broken. And due to the tight budget the music program at Cherokee has to work with — about $300 to $400 per year — McInturff’s desire to get an instrument in the hand of every student is one that could go unanswered.
But the popular television show “Glee” could wind up being the music program’s saving grace.
The “Glee Give A Note” contest, which is sponsored by Fox, “Glee” creator Ryan Murphy and the National Association for Music Education, is giving at-risk music programs the chance to get a much-needed boost when it comes to dealing with budget reductions.
After finding out about the contest, which required each school to submit a video about its music program and what is needed, McInturff knew it was something that could potentially help the future of Cherokee’s program.
“Without the money from this or another grant, we’re not going to have instruments that we need. There’s just not enough there for that. We get enough to keep going, but we don’t have enough to just buy new things and keep instruments for the kids,” she said.
By visiting the “Glee Give A Note” website, people can vote for their favorite music program. The contest is rewarding 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.
As of Tuesday night, Cherokee Elementary had about 303 votes, and McInturff hopes that number keeps increasing until the contest ends next month.
“This contest will give us the opportunity to win some money to have so we can buy instruments, and these are not things that are just going to last for one year. Once we buy those instruments ... we’ll have them for 25 or 30 years, so this money could mean a long time of success for music for Cherokee,” she said.
The school’s involvement in the contest has received lots of support from faculty, parents and students, especially those who are fans of the music of “Glee.”
“They really get more interested in music when they see that show, so I think it’s a great thing that they’re doing this and really putting their name out there so kids can be a part of music and enjoy it,” McInturff said.
To vote for Cherokee, visit www.GleeGiveANote.com and enter the school’s name in the search bar.
Voting ends on Nov. 7 at 11:59 p.m.