Wyckoff – Washington Elementary School is in the running to win thousands of dollars in a national contest in support of music education.
The contest, called "Glee" Give-a-Note, pledges to give $1 million to music programs in schools throughout the United States. It’s sponsored by Fox, "Glee" creator Ryan Murphy, and the National Association for Music Education. Schools receiving the most votes could win up to $50,000.
Washington School’s video submission features the 413 students in Grades K-5 performing a flash mob — a dance phenomenon in which a seemingly unrelated group of people suddenly break out in a performance of synchronized movements.
"I had to go on YouTube and check out a couple," Principal Scott Blake admitted on Oct. 17. He said the idea was art teacher Marci O’Brien’s, who was charged with creating an event to underscore the state’s new anti-bullying laws.
She thought a spirit assembly which brought all of the students together would highlight cooperation and respect. It was music teacher Hannah Kim who learned about the "Glee" contest and thought the event would make for a good submission.
As part of the contest, students are also shown on the video answering such questions as why music important is in our school and how music brings people together.
Then the video cuts to the students enjoying some outdoor recreation time on the field at Washington School. When "Count on Me" by Bruno Mars starts to play over loudspeakers, many of the students run toward a central location and begin performing dance moves. As the song goes on, more students join until the whole school is dancing at the same time.
As of Wednesday, Oct. 19, Washington’s video had garnered 4,567 votes among the hundreds of schools competing. To view the video and cast a vote, visit gleegiveanote.com/vote_details.php?id=52. Votes are limited to one a day, but can be cast daily. The deadline to vote is Nov. 7
Blake said students practiced the moves for weeks in their music, gym and art classes. He said the video has drawn a "really positive response" from the community and that watching over 400 kids moving together was a "powerful" moment.