The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Carlmont Choirs hope for return to normal funding levels

Ricardo Cobian Duarte
Students sit in Carlmont Choirs’ main practice room, which is located in F21.

The Carlmont Choirs program has struggled to raise as much money this year as it did in past years.

Carlmont Choirs receives most of its money from ticket sales, donations, and the Carlmont Academic Foundation (CAF). Still, in recent years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program has yet to fully financially recover.

“In 2019, when everything was quote-on-quote normal, we did not have to pay for theater expenses because people rented out the theater regularly, which goes for all the programs,” said Genevieve Tep, Carlmont’s choir director and the department chair of Carlmont’s Performing Arts. “There was excess money that would pay for us to use the theater, but when everything shut down, the theater completely shut down for a year and a half.”

For Tep, the costs associated with the return to performances stacked up quickly.

“Last year, we started doing concerts, and we had to pay for hours to cover the theater manager, public custodian, and everything, and it added up,” Tep said. “And so that’s kind of how we sort of got to like, ‘Oh, no, everything got really expensive.'”

Carlmont Choirs is on-par with the funding of the other performing arts programs, but being unable to monetize their content made a dent in the budget. 

“We weren’t able to have a Pops concert, which is where we get most of our money from. The next year, of course, was online. So that means you know, none of our stuff was paid for. We didn’t get any funding for anything because all the stuff we posted was on YouTube,” said Eric Zhai, president of Carlmont’s Choir Council.

To add to the financial struggles, people seemed to avoid coming in-person to Carlmont Choirs concerts once they began again.

“Last year also, we had the COVID-19 regulations where you couldn’t sit next to someone and there had to be a seat in between, and you had to wear masks, of course, so a lot of people just didn’t go to the concert. We didn’t generate that much revenue last year, and so this year, we’re trying to catch back up with all the losses that we’ve had,” Zhai said.

All fundraisers and concerts that the Carlmont Choirs program has done this year help bring back some of the money lost during COVID. (Ricardo Cobian Duarte)

Any income made through performances at Carlmont Performing Arts Center is managed separately by each program.

“Instead of having a performing arts budget, the dance teachers manage the funds they make; I manage all of our money through the Choir Council. The band has an outside account that they use; they also have a boosters account. We all do our own thing to raise money for our programs,” Tep said.

Although the programs manage their own money through performances and donations independently, Carlmont Choirs has struggled significantly to accumulate the funds necessary to do the large-scale events it has done in prior years. 

“Choir does not have less money than it absolutely must. However, we do not have as much money as we have had in prior years, during which we were able to afford the costs of planning a choir tour,” said Jason Korn, treasurer for Carlmont’s Choir Council.

The lack of stability in funds the choir raises has led to Tep making some executive decisions on what the choir can afford to do. Because of this, Tep urges the public to donate to Carlmont Choirs.

“Sometimes I’m literally making decisions on what we can do in class and how much money I have – (basically) whether or not we can afford to do stuff,” Tep said. 

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About the Contributor
Ricardo Cobian Duarte, Staff Writer
Ricardo Cobian Duarte is a sophomore at Carlmont and this is his first year in the journalism program. He has loved writing since childhood and has always been passionate about expressing himself through various arts. In his free time, Ricardo enjoys eating, sleeping, and breathing air. Twitter: @gvrdenctrl

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Carlmont Choirs hope for return to normal funding levels