A typical fundraiser for Sandstone Middle School’s choir is a car wash, but this year the singers decided on something more gleeful.

They entered the nation-wide Glee Give-A-Note competition.

“We need the money and we’re trying really hard to help our school,” said Elizabeth Weems, a Sandstone eighth-grader.

Fox television, the creator of the television show “Glee,” and the National Association for Music Education have joined forces to give away a total of $1 million to 73 music programs across the country.

Three grand prizes of $50,000 will be awarded with 10 first prizes of $20,000 and 60 second prizes of $10,000.

Sandstone music teacher Jonathon Boysen has about 200 students in his music classes. The seventh- and eighth-grade choir class produced the video and entered the contest at the end of September. Sandstone is competing against 396 other entries from across the country.

“We’re the only school east of the Cascades and south-central Washington that entered the contest,” Boysen said. “We have a lot of expensive equipment that we need to replace. New choir risers alone cost $7,000.”

The video shows much of the music program’s equipment is damaged or broken and the choir risers — what the choir stands on — are unstable. Videos entered in the contest are on the web and are open for votes until Nov. 7. Winners will be announced Dec. 15.

After the voting period ends, a panel of judges reviews the videos and releases the results, Boysen said.

The Give-A-Note foundation is providing funding to music programs across the country because when budgets are cut, music programs are often first to go.

Students are optimistic their video will do well in the competition because they have demonstrated their need for funding.

Elise Sandoval, a seventh-grade choir member, said their video differs from other entries because it shows they’re passionate about their music program.

“We love it and we don’t want to lose it,” she said.

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