MusicWorks students receive honors at national festival
Twenty-nine students from MusicWorks! Studio of Performing Arts participated in the invitation-only 2013 Junior Theater Festival, held Jan. 18 to 20 at the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. The Junior Theater Festival is the world’s largest musical theater festival dedicated to groups working with elementary though high school students and is presented by New York City’s iTheatrics and Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars and sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals.
The festival brings together more than 4,000 students, teachers and Broadway professionals to raise their voices in celebration of on-stage and backstage excellence in musical theater.
The 2013 MusicWorks group members include Marina Battenfeld, Austin Browning, Keely Cherry, Madison Gosnell, Lily Howell, Jacob Hunt, Parker Hunt, Roselyn Lasley, Sydney Lyles, Amanda Caroline McCall, Mary Ashley McCrory, Marleigh Meadows, Morgan Meadows, Reagan Mulvey, Lily Paschke, Laney Pollard, Mera Ring, Katia Roach, Cameron Robinson, Leah Rogers, Ben Sears, Wesley Silveira, Brynna Sinyard, Hailey Stewart, Madison Stewart, Madison Sugg, Julia Turpin, Rebekah Vertrees, and Kara White. The group was directed by Lynne Meyer, with assistance by Cord Scott and Emily Warren. Adriane Howard, MusicWorks office manager, designed the performance shirt and attended the festival as technical director.
The young people representing MusicWorks, ages 7 to 17, performed selections from “Seussical Jr.” for adjudication by a panel of theater professionals, Broadway actors, technicians, and directors. The MusicWorks group received several awards including outstanding excellence in ensemble, and Ben Sears, a junior at Tuscola High School, was awarded the 2013 outstanding/hardest working male performer out 4,000 students who participated in the festival.
“We are all so thrilled for Ben,” said Meyer, director of MusicWorks. “He is certainly deserving of this honor because he does work so hard at anything he commits to doing. I expect great things are ahead for this talented young man.”
Several other students from MusicWorks also received awards including Kara White and Parker Hunt, who were selected to participate in the JTF All-stars ensemble; Reagan Mulvey, Austin Browning, Wesley Silveira, and Jacob Hunt were selected to participate in the JTF Slam, in which students are grouped into small ensembles and given a piece of music and 45 minutes to learn the notes, lyrics, staging, and blocking before presenting it to the entire festival on stage. Reagan Mulvey was awarded excellenct acheivement (female) in the Broadway Jr. Slam performance; and Austin Browning was awarded excellent acheivement (male) Broadway Jr. Slam performance. Morgan Meadows, Julia Turpin, Cameron Robinson, Brynna Sinyard, and Ben Sears were awarded golden tickets in dance and choreography and were invited to audition for Broadway junior resident choreographer Steven G. Kennedy for future Broadway junior choreography DVD shoots. They will learn later this spring the names of the students selected to go to New York this summer to participate in the DVD shoot.
Featuring 82 groups from 28 states, and 4,200 performers, the 2013 Junior Theater Festival offered an environment for students and teachers to interact with thousands of others who share their passion for musical theater. Students and teachers participated in interactive workshops led by Broadway and West End professionals, gained from professional development, enjoyed theatrical fellowship and attended a professional production of “Blue Man Group” at the Fox Theatre. Student techies worked side-by-side with festival staff in running all aspects of the festival experience.
MusicWorks! Studio of Performing Arts was established in 2002 by Meyer, with the objective to provide children and young adults the opportunity to discover and express their talents in the performing arts. Call 565-0381.