“Glee” Pledges $1 Million for Music Ed

Photo courtesy of Rachel Garcia

While the hit television show “Glee” chronicles the challenges and triumphs of a high school’s vocal performance group, the show has provided plenty of opportunities for marching and instrumental musicians and now is pledging $1 million to benefit music education.

Show creator Ryan Murphy, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) have partnered together for the Glee “Give a Note” campaign to provide funds for at-risk public school music and arts programs.

“We were working with Glee to get something going for about two years,” says Elizabeth Lasko of NAfME. “Ryan Murphy is very interested in music education; he wanted to leverage the show to raise awareness and spread it across the country.”

Schools submitted videos, and a public voting phase took place through Nov. 7. The winners will be announced in mid-December. The $1 million of prize money will be split between 73 winning schools, with three grand prize winners earning $50,000 each. Proceeds from Glee DVD and Blu-rays will help fund the contest.

As for the show itself, marching bands have been featured in three musical numbers so far (the show is midway through the third season).

The University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band portrayed the McKinley High School Band twice. Most recently an all-female marching group played by members and alumni of the Riverside (Calif.) Community College Marching Tigers performed as part of the Beyonce song “Run the World (Girls).”

“It was kind of funny because we filmed it so many times and hoped to be in the episode,” says Rachel Garcia, a first-year trumpet player. “I was wondering how it would all come together, and it was amazing. I see how our part as the band made it better.”

Visit www.gleegiveanote.com for more information about the “Glee Give a Note” campaign.

About author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.