November 2, 2011 —
As administrators at the Eldred Central School District (ECS) grapple with difficult decisions driven by a state tax cap and contingency budget, students in the school music and theater programs are taking matters into their own hands to try to keep their programs intact by competing in a contest sponsored by Glee, the hugely popular television show.
In support of at-risk music programs across the nation, Glee will award one million dollars to help save art and music programs facing funding cuts in publicschools. The ECS Music Program has entered the Glee Give a Note Project and is asking members of the community to visit www.gleegiveanote.com  and cast daily votes for ECS.
Justin Glodich, who directs the kindergarten through 12th grade choral and theater programs, encouraged the students to participate. Students scripted their own parts for the video by writing about what the music program means to them.
“It has influenced me to make better decisions and express myself in ways that I thought I might not be able to,” said one. “We’re all respected for our own individual talent,” said another. “Music let’s you find your own place in the world.” “Music is a refuge.”
At ECS, 210 students are involved in chorus and 130 in band. For the past several years, Godich has taken the students to a festival where they’ve earned bronze and silver awards. This year, they may not have the chance to go for the gold, due to funding cuts.
The Glee project will award prizes ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 in five regions. If ECS wins one, they plan to use the money for essentials such as purchasing sheet music and buying or repairing instruments. Recipients will be announced on December 15.
Votes can also be placed daily by visiting the district website and clicking on the link under, “Our Music Department Rocks.” Voting ends on November 7th.