AS IF GLEE FEVER in these parts wasn’t hot enough—the 1,000-person Glee flashmob in Seattle last spring, West Seattle High alum Rosanna Pansino playing a cheerleader in a recent episode, and the production of Puppets Gone Glee at Market Theater—along comes Darren McCoy, a real-life version of the musical comedy-drama’s fictional choir director Will Schuester.

This fall McCoy, Oak Harbor High School’s singing coach, is teaching a Glee-inspired class just in time for the second-season premier of the hit FOX show on September 21. Like Glee’s Schuester, McCoy is young (25), and handsome. When Whidbey News Times compared McCoy to Schuester last winter, his students were not surprised. Of course he would be compared to the TV show’s star, says senior and soprano Lyndsey Burkette. Kasie Fisher, a junior, adds that McCoy is as inspirational in real life as Will Schuester is on the screen.

But unlike his Glee counterpart, who struggled to get a motley crew of musical talent together, McCoy was approached by his Glee-loving students to start the choir. Almost 60 kids showed up for 42 spots during auditions last spring. McCoy says that’s twice as many as would have normally tried out.

The group has already received performance requests from a rotary club and a lady’s golf luncheon. The repertoire will include Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good” and an African song, “O Fortuna,” that Burkette calls “really hardcore.”)

Fisher is dying to perform a song from Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Other students ask for Lady Gaga, Faith Hill, and Queen. However, McCoy points out, they cannot do everything like the fictional William McKinley High School. “‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is not a choir song,” he says. “It’s not appropriate to pick a song where there’s only one performer.”

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