Their voices ring out in harmonic jubilation and their bodies move in
synchronization to the music.
They are the members of the John Burroughs High School Powerhouse
Choir -- 41 students who have brought home numerous regional
trophies this year and are on their way today to the National
Showstoppers Show Choir Competition in New York City.
“We’re hoping that our chances are good, considering our winning
streak,” said Powerhouse member Joseph Payo, the school’s Vocal Music
Assn. student president. “We want to show the California spirit.”
The advanced girls’ choir, the Sound Sensations, is also going to
Choir Director Mary Rago, who has taught music at the school for
25 years, said the Powerhouse group is excited about going to
nationals after winning every competition it has entered since the
start of the school year.
In February, the choir swept the top awards at the Brea Olinda
High School Festival at Citrus College in Glendora. The month before,
it won first place at the Aztec Sing Show choir competition, also at
In 1997, the choir won at nationals and repeated its win in 2000,
“We already have two under our belt, so three would be very
sweet,” Rago said. “We’re working very hard, but we can’t take
anything for granted.”
Jennifer Box, vice-president of the Vocal Music Assn., said the
choir was unable to compete last year because the district prohibited
out-of-state travel after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. That ban
was lifted this year, Rago said.The choirs will compete against 10
schools from across the country. Preliminary competition is Friday
night, and finals and women’s competition are Saturday night.