Music Students Eye National Prize In Glee Contest

SNOW HILL — Inspired by a popular television show, one local middle school has entered a national contest with the hope of securing up to $50,000 worth of funding for music and fine arts.

“We found out about it just by watching Glee,” said Snow Hill Middle School (SHMS) Extended School Administrator Dr. Mary Ann Cooper.

Glee, a hit show featured on Fox Network about a fictional high school show choir, is offering $1 million in prize money to music programs across the country with its “Give a Note” contest. According to Cooper, SHMS is hoping to secure $10,000 to $50,000 in prize money to be used to supply its own glee club.

“They want to keep music in schools,” said Cooper of the contest.

Numbering 52 students, the SHMS glee club is only in its second year and has grown steadily since it began. Open to students in 6-8 grades, Cooper said that the popularity of the club has everyone in the school hoping to get a spot.

“Fourth and fifth grade are chomping at the bit to get in,” she said. “Everybody is in to it.”

To take part in “Give a Note”, the SHMS glee club needed to recreate a scene from the television show, supplying its own vocals and choreography. Students chose to recreate a scene centered around the song “Empire State of Mind.” In the show, the cast of Glee performs the song on a set of steps in New York City. Though the SHMS glee club couldn’t travel that far, they were able to use the steps leading to their building to mimic the original scene.

A roughly two-minute video of the performance was then sent in to the contest. Because “Give a Note” is open to the entire country, pre-k through high school, SHMS faces some stiff competition. However, Cooper was confident in her team, and pointed out the students will be representing the area.

“Out of Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties, we’re the only [school competing],” she said.

With the program expanding and the school itself in need of upgrades to help all music programs, Cooper saw the “Give a Note” as a perfect opportunity to both showcase the talent of her students and find some always crucial funding.

“As a school, we desperately, desperately need a new sound system. The kids deserve that,” she said.

No matter how the contest goes, Cooper is positive that the SHMS glee club has a bright future ahead of it. She pointed out that during the club’s first year it made it all the way to the final round of the “Delmarva’s Got Talent” competition. Also, the club is basking in some local popularity and was booked solid to perform around the county this holiday season.

“We have a very full holiday schedule,” said Cooper.

Besides the Pocomoke and Snow Hill holiday parades, the SHMS glee club will be featured at the Winterfest of Lights, among other events.

“They are like the ambassadors for the school,” Cooper said of the club.

In addition to a new sound system, Cooper is hoping the contest will yield enough funding for new uniforms, music, instruments and travel expenses.

“It’s beneficial for everyone,” she said, explaining that prize money collected by the club would help music and fine arts in general at SHMS.

With the voting period now open, Cooper urges all residents on the Eastern Shore to visit the contest’s website to support a local school.

“We’re trying really hard to get the word out,” she said.
To view the video submitted or to learn more about the contest, visit