North Forsyth High School musical theater students have plenty to be gleeful about.
The group took home both the grand champion and people’s choice awards Thursday during the inaugural Glee Off competition in Athens. The event benefitted the nonprofit Children First.
Named the NorthStars for the contest, the student group was one of seven from the northeast Georgia region vying for the $500 cash prize.
Mary Hayes Ernst, the musical theater teacher, said the students couldn’t watch the other groups perform.
The positive feedback from the judges, however, gave them confidence they might win.
“We thought we were going to get something, but it’s always a huge surprise when you win something overall,” Ernst said. “They were just totally excited.”
The people’s choice award was based on voting for the group’s online video, which was submitted to get it into the final round.
The live performance expanded on the video mash-up of “Thriller” and “Heads Will Roll,” adding “True Colors” and “Born This Way” in a zombie spectacular.
Ernst said her students really bonded through the experience.
“The biggest thing they learned is that it’s worth doing whether you win something or not,” she said. “But to be recognized for everything they did made the experience so much sweeter.”
The $500 prize will go toward funding the upcoming “Pinkalicious” children’s show the musical theater students plan for the spring.
The competition, which gave the teens a chance to feel like characters on the popular TV show “Glee,” raised excitement.
The students started talking about plans for next year during the bus ride home, Ernst said.
Locally, the group will perform its winning number at two upcoming school events, including the DECA fashion show Dec. 9 and talent show Dec. 17.