The Fifth Annual Blumey Awards Winners Announced!

By: May. 23, 2016
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The fifth annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards culminated Sunday, May 22, at a gala award celebration where winners in 12 categories were announced and nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress and Wells Fargo Best Musical performed live on stage at the Belk Theater. The Blumey Awards were presented by Wells Fargo.

CFA Academy from Cabarrus County won the Tier 1 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Mary Poppins. Central Academy of Technology and Arts from Union County won the Tier 2 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Ragtime. Amina Faye of Central Academy of Technology and Arts won Best Actress for her portrayal of "Sarah" in Ragtime. Justin Rivers of Central Academy of Technology and Arts won Best Actor for his portrayal of "Coalhouse Walker, Jr." in Ragtime.

Faye and Rivers, the students named Best Actress and Best Actor 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 the National High School Musical Theater Awards. The national show and ceremony, known as The Jimmy Awards (named after famed Broadway producer, James M. Nederlander), takes place in New York on June 27, 2016.

Eighteen different high schools within the Charlotte region were nominated for Blumey Awards in at least one of the 12 categories, and another nine schools had students recognized in the Top 20 in the Best Actor or Best Actress category. Counties represented included Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Union and York.

"Congratulations to each and every school that participated in the 5th Annual Blumey Awards Ceremony," said Tom Gabbard, Blumenthal President and CEO. "I'm proud of the talent we saw on our stage tonight. These young people gave it their all in front of a sold out house at Belk Theater. We are honored to be a part of that incredible experience and to celebrate blooming talent."

Twelve student critics also participated in the Student Critic Program in association with the 5th Annual Blumey Awards presented by Wells Fargo. The Student Critic Program is a part of The Blumey Awards with support from The Charlotte Observer. Of these twelve Student Critics, Sarah Dahlberg of Covenant Day, was awarded "The Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award" at The Blumey Awards, chosen by the editors at The Charlotte Observer.

Plus, a new Technical Achievement award was presented this year to Connor Bright from Providence Day School. The new award gives students who were part of the technical aspects of their participating Blumey Awards production the chance to be recognized for outstanding work.

Maureen O'Boyle, anchor for WBTV, and Amy Burkett of WTVI co-emceed the black-tie event. This year, The Blumey Awards will also be broadcast on WTVI on Tuesday, June 14 at 8 p.m.

Among the award presenters and special guests were Taylor Batten (Charlotte Observer), Amy Blumenthal, Tom Gabbard (President and CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts), Angie Hays (NCTC Executive Director), Sandra Levine, Joe O'Connor (WFAE) and Christine Sperow (WBTV Anchor).

This year's winners for The Blumey Awards included:

Wells Fargo Best Musical - Tier 1 (Musical production budget of under $10,000)

cfa Academy - Mary Poppins

Wells Fargo Best Musical - Tier 2 (Musical production budget of $10,000 and greater)

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Ragtime

Best Actor

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Justin Rivers as Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (Ragtime)

Best Actress

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Amina Faye as Sarah (Ragtime)

Best Supporting Actor

Charlotte Latin School - Ethan Holtzman as Pirate King (The Pirates of Penzance)

Best Supporting Actress

Arborbrook Christian Academy - Libby Hatfield as Sally Brown (You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown)

Best Featured Performer

Butler High School - Rickey-Levon Burch II as Mr. Twimble (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying)

Best Overall Direction

Central Academy of Technology and Arts - Ragtime

Best Ensemble/Chorus

Ardrey Kell High School - Mary Poppins

Best Choreography Execution

cfa Academy - Mary Poppins

Best Student Orchestra

Ardrey Kell High School - Mary Poppins

Best Costume Creation

Hickory Ridge High School - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Best Set Construction

cfa Academy - Mary Poppin

Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, The Doctor Family Foundation will award a $10,000 annually renewable scholarship to two area students. This year, The Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship will be awarded to Sawyer Newsome, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, and Sean Mason, Phillip O'Berry Academy of Technology. A special scholarship committee chose these winners. The scholarship recipients were awarded the scholarships live on May 22 during The Blumey Awards Ceremony.

The gala celebration was the highlight of the competition, which started in January when local schools began presenting their annual musical theater productions. Each school's musical was viewed and evaluated by a panel of three judges, who awarded points according to detailed guidelines.

The Blumey Awards is produced by Blumenthal Performing Arts' Education Department and is presented by Wells Fargo. The Doctor Family Foundation and The Leon Levine Foundation provide additional support. Charlotte joins more than 40 other cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston and Atlanta, in hosting annual high school musical theater awards programs.

"Wells Fargo has been the presenting sponsor of the Blumey Awards five years in a row," said Jay Everette, Community Affairs Manager for Wells Fargo. "We are always excited to see which outstanding young adults are selected to move on to the Jimmy Awards experience in New York City and we are particularly proud of this year's deserving winners."

Like the Tony Awards®, The Blumey Awards Ceremony will also feature live performances by the six finalists for Wells Fargo Best Musical: Butler High School, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Tryin; CFA Academy, Mary Poppins; Nation Ford High School, The Little Mermaid; Ardrey Kell High School, Mary Poppins; Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Ragtime; Providence Day School, Anything Goes.

David Dabbon, a New York-based music director, conductor, orchestrator and composer arranged all of the music, led an orchestra of local professional musicians that accompanied the competing schools, and wrote the closing number. He has conducted shows and concerts throughout the country.

The Blumey Awards Ceremony also featured a medley of performances by the six finalists for Best Actor and Best Actress. Additionally, two students from each participating school's productions were featured in opening and closing musical numbers choreographed by Linda Booth, a professional choreographer. Booth holds a BFA in dance performance from UNC-Greensboro and has choreographed over 100 productions in regional and educational theatre. Recent credits include Hairspray, Chicago, 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Drowsy Chaperone and Charlotte Squawks.

The 43 schools that competed in the Blumey Awards program were: A. L. Brown, Arborbrook Christian Academy, Ardrey Kell, Bunker Hill, Butler, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus, cfa Academy, Charlotte Christian, Charlotte Country Day, Charlotte Latin, Covenant Day, Cuthbertson, Davidson Day, Hickory Ridge, Highland School of Technology, Hough, Independence, Jay M. Robinson, Kings Mountain, Lake Norman, Lincolnton, Marvin Ridge, Mountain Island Charter, Nation Ford, North Lincoln, Northwest Cabarrus, Northwest School of the Arts, Northwestern, Parkwood, Piedmont Community Charter, Pine Lake Preparatory, Providence, Providence Day, Shelby, South Mecklenburg, South Point, South Pointe, Southlake Christian Academy, Stuart W. Cramer, Sun Valley, Weddington and York Comprehensive.

For more information:

Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit Blumenthal Performing Arts receives operating support from the Arts & Science Council and North Carolina Arts Council. Blumenthal Performing Arts is also supported by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights.


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