Blumenthal Performing Arts Announces the Inaugural Blumey Award Nominees

By: Apr. 27, 2012
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Blumenthal Performing Arts today announced the 78 nominees – six each in 13 categories - competing in the inaugural Blumey Awards presented by Wells Fargo on Sunday, May 20, in the Belk Theater. 
 
The Blumey Awards program recognizes and celebrates the best in high school musical theater and fosters even greater achievements in the future. 
 
Maureen O'Boyle, anchor for WBTV, is emceeing the black-tie event.  
 
Winners will be announced at The Blumey Awards Ceremony on May 20, at 7:00 p.m., in the Belk Theater.  Tickets for The Blumey Awards Ceremony go on sale to the public on Thursday, May 3, at 10 a.m. Tickets range from $30 to $45 for premium seats, which include a VIP pre-show reception.  Tickets will be available at BlumenthalArts.org, 704-372-1000 or from the box office in the Belk Theater lobby, 130 N. Tryon St. 
 
Like the Tony Awards, The Blumey Awards Ceremony will also feature live performances by the six finalists for Wells Fargo Best Musical:  Charlotte Christian School's West Side Story, Charlotte Latin School's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jay M. Robinson High School's Little Shop of Horrors, Northwest School of the Arts' West Side Story, South Mecklenburg High School's Bye Bye Birdieand South Point High School's Jekyll & Hyde.  
 
"While it's the first year, we're expecting a full house of 2,100 people at Belk Theater on May 20," says Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard.  "It's an exceptional opportunity for talented students from the Charlotte region to perform on the same stage that some of our touring Broadway shows perform."
 
Award presenters include NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, Stephen Curry; Charlotte actor Grason Kingsberry who starred on Broadway in The Color Purple, Catch Me if You Can and Leap of Faith; Van Kamplin, Executive Producer of The Jimmy Awards and CEO of the Pittsburgh CLO; Richard "Stick" Williams, Senior Vice President of Environmental, Health & Safety and President of The Duke Energy Foundation; host of WFAE's "Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins" and star of Charlotte Squawks: 8 Misbehavin, Mike Collins; Don and Mary Doctor of The Doctor Family Foundation and many more. 
 
David Dabbon, a New York-based music director, conductor, orchestrator and composer, will direct the awards ceremony and lead an orchestra of local professional musicians that will accompany the competing schools on May 20.  He has conducted shows and concerts throughout the country.  Most recently, he provided additional orchestrations for the Tony® and Grammy®-nominated Broadway musical, Sondheim on Sondheim.  Dabbon has served as assisting arranger/orchestrator for The Gene Kelly Awards and most recently, the National High School Music Theatre Awards.
 
"[The Blumey Awards] is very much like planning a wedding, lots and lots of preparation for a once night event that will hold so many memories," Dabbon said.  "The regional High School Musical Theater Awards often have the same format as the Oscars and Tony Awards®.  Lots of surprises, songs, dancing, awards and scholarships."
 
Additionally, The Blumey Awards Ceremony will feature a medley of performances by the six finalists for Best Actor and for Best Actress; and two students from each production will be featured in opening and closing production numbers. Sarah Zielinski, a professional choreographer has been hired to choreograph these musical numbers. She has been assistant choreographer to Kiesha Lalama in the Gene Kelly Awards along with CLO Academy's Mini Stars and How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. Sarah's choreography credits include Oklahoma!My Favorite YearThe Wedding Singer, 42nd Street and Titanic for high schools in the Pittsburgh area.
 
Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, The Doctor Family Foundation will award a $10,000 annually renewable scholarship to two student participants in The Blumey Awards.  These winners will be chosen by a special scholarship committee.  The scholarship candidates will be comprised of students nominated by fine arts teachers from each participating school.  The scholarship recipients will be announced live on May 20 during The Blumey Awards Ceremony.
 
Blumenthal Performing Arts has also been accepted as a participating professional theater by the National High School Musical Theater Awards organization. The national show and ceremony takes place in New York in June 2012. The two students named Best Actor and Best Actress at The Blumey Awards will receive an all-expenses-paid trip and weeklong stay in New York City where they will train and compete with other regional winners in a national competition known as The Jimmy Awards (named after famed Broadway producer, James M. Nederlander). This will be the first time theater and music students in our region will have a chance to compete in "The Jimmys."
 
"We're proud of the remarkable creative talent in our community.  The launch of The Blumey Awards in 2012 is an opportunity for us as a community to celebrate and encourage the budding talent of high school artists, as well as the faculty and staff who work behind the scenes to mount school musicals," said Gabbard, Blumenthal President.  "We're thankful for the exceptional high schools who are participating in the debut of a new tradition that will encourage talented young artists to dream big dreams and to work hard to achieve them."
 
Rebecca Henderson, Wells Fargo Deputy General Counsel in Wells Fargo's Law Department and Blumenthal Board member stated, "Wells Fargo is pleased to underwrite this innovative program celebrating our next generation of cultural arts performers and stars. Wells Fargo invests in arts, history and cultural education in our schools as part of our overall commitment to education, so this program is a great way to highlight the talent of students and schools throughout the Greater Charlotte region."
 
For the Blumey Awards, each participating school's musical has been viewed and evaluated by a panel of three judges, who awarded points according to detailed guidelines.  The six highest scoring nominees in each of 13 categories are the finalists.  
 
This year's nominees for The Blumey Awards:
 
Wells Fargo Best Musical 

Charlotte Christian School – West Side Story 

Charlotte Latin School – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story 

South Mecklenburg High School – Bye Bye Birdie 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde
 
Best Actor 

Charlotte Latin School – Will Branner as Joseph (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) 

Cuthbertson High School – Tim Quinn as Beast (Beauty and the Beast) 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Kyle Conroy as Seymour (Little Shop of Horrors) 

Marvin Ridge High School – John Pope as Bobby Strong (Urinetown) 

Northwest School of the Arts – Mekhai Lee as Riff (West Side Story) 

South Point High School – CJ Bradshaw as Jekyll/Hyde (Jekyll & Hyde)
 
Best Actress 

Ardrey Kell High School – Kelly Kapur as Polly Baker (Crazy for You) 

Cuthbertson High School – Taylor Neal as Belle (Beauty and the Beast) 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Kelly Hynek as Audrey (Little Shop of Horrors) 

Marvin Ridge High School – Jessica Arnold as Hope Cladwell (Urinetown) 

Northwest School of the Arts – Eva Noblezada as Maria (West Side Story) 

South Mecklenburg High School – Liza Veilleux as Rosie Alvarez (Bye Bye Birdie)

Best Supporting Actor 

Central Cabarrus High School – Adam Winkler as Mrs. White (Clue: The Musical) 

Charlotte Christian School – Daniel Armbrust as Bernardo (West Side Story) 

Charlotte Latin School – Ryan Carter as Jacob/Pharoah (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) 

Gaston Day School – Amir Feinberg as Zeke/Lion (The Wizard of Oz) 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Matt Verner as Voice of Audrey II (Little Shop of Horrors) 

Northwest School of the Arts – Matt Carlson as Bernardo (West Side Story)

Best Supporting Actress 

Charlotte Christian School – Emma VanDeVelde as Anita (West Side Story) 

Gaston Day School – Paxton Shaw as Glinda (The Wizard of Oz) 

Hickory Ridge High School – Shaquila Massey as Penelope Pennywise (Urinetown) 

Marvin Ridge High School – Ashley Chesler as Little Sally (Urinetown) 

Northwest School of the Arts – Renee Welsh-Noel as Anita (West Side Story) 

South Point High School – Lauren Frady as Emma Carew (Jekyll & Hyde)
 
Best Featured Performer 

Charlotte Christian School – Mozelle Cox as Rosalia (West Side Story) 

Charlotte Latin School – Davis Heniford as Simeon (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) 

Gaston Day School – Austin Palenick as Professor Marvel/Wizard (The Wizard of Oz) 

Independence High School – Marissa Plondke as Patty (Grease) 

Marvin Ridge High School – Jordan Yakowenko as Ms. Pennywise (Urinetown) 

Northwest School of the Arts – Robert Briner as A-rab (West Side Story)
 
Best Overall Direction 

Charlotte Christian School – West Side Story 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Marvin Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story 

South Mecklenburg High School – Bye Bye Birdie 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde
 
Best Ensemble/Chorus 

Charlotte Christian School – West Side Story 

Charlotte Latin School – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story 

South Mecklenburg High School – Bye Bye Birdie 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde
 
Best Choreography Execution 

Charlotte Christian School – West Side Story 

Independence High School – Grease 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Marvin Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde
 
Best Student Orchestra 

Ardrey Kell High School – Crazy for You 

Cuthbertson High School – Beauty and the Beast 

East Gaston High School – Anything Goes 

Fort Mill High School – Xanadu 

Hickory Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Marvin Ridge High School – Urinetown
 
Best Costume Creation 

Central Cabarrus High School – Clue: The Musical 

Cuthbertson High School – Beauty and the Beast 

Hickory Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Marvin Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story
 
Best Lighting Execution 

Cuthbertson High School – Beauty and the Beast 

Gaston Day School – The Wizard of Oz 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Marvin Ridge High School – Urinetown 

Northwest Cabarrus High School – Zombie Prom 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde
 
Best Set Construction 

Central Cabarrus High School – Clue: The Musical 

Gaston Day School – The Wizard of Oz 

Jay M. Robinson High School – Little Shop of Horrors 

Northwest School of the Arts – West Side Story 

South Mecklenburg High School – Bye Bye Birdie 

South Point High School – Jekyll & Hyde

The Blumenthal Performing Arts' Education Department is managing The Blumey Awards.  Wells Fargo is the Presenting Sponsor.  The Doctor Family Foundation is providing additional support. Charlotte joins more than 30 other cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston and Atlanta, in hosting annual high school musical theater awards programs.   
 
The schools that competed include:  A.L. Brown High School, Ardrey Kell High School, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus High School, Charlotte Christian High School, Charlotte Latin School, Cuthbertson High School, East Gaston High School, Fort Mill High School, Gaston Day School, Hickory Ridge High School, Independence High School, Jay M. Robinson High School, Marvin Ridge High School, Nation Ford High School, North Lincoln High School, Northwest Cabarrus High School, Northwest School of the Arts, South Mecklenburg High School and South Point High School.
 
For more information:  BlumenthalArts.org/BlumeyAwards.



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