Guest blog by Tina James, Patel Conservatory Education Programs Manager for the Patel Conservatory. Tina’s primary responsibilities include overseeing the Conservatory’s Community Partnership program as well as all community-based programs involving Broadway Family Nights, Family First Night, National High School Musical Theater Awards as well as National Broadway League initiatives.
The Broadway Star of the Future Award winners, Chandler Morehead and Tim Hart, are back from New York City and it was a tremendous experience.
The rehearsals for the National High School Musical Theater Awards were intense. Preparation for the end-of-the-week show was non-stop from sunrise to sunset. The nominees continued to work on their medley vocals and solo coaching for their final performances.
This year’s vocal coaches were the same as last year. Just incase you forgot, they were:
- Michael McElroy, whose Broadway credits include Rent, Big River, Hair, Spring Awakening and more.
- Leslie Odom, Jr., whose professional credits include the hit TV show Smash, CSI: Miami, Red Tails and more.
- Liz Callaway, who starred in the original cast of Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers and the Look of Love.
- Telly Leung, know for his roles in Rent and Glee.
- Schele Williams-Kleinberger who starred in Aida on Broadway and is affiliated with hit Broadway musical Motown: The Musical.
|From left, Tim Hart, Tina James and|
Chandler had the opportunity to work with Telly Leung, and Tim worked with Liz Callaway.
Hours and days went by, then poof – it was Sunday. Sunday was the day that all the nominees performed their medleys and solos for the judges. This can easily be considered the first round of judging. The tension in the room was so thick you could cut it with a knife. You could feel the nervous excitement in the air as each nominee stepped up to sing the solo he or she had been working on.
The judges were blown away by the amount of talent brought by this year’s nominees. The panel of judges for this year was a list of Who’s Who among the Broadway community. The judges were: Scott Ellis (Roundabout Theatre Company); Kent Gash (New Studio on Broadway, NYU Tisch School of the Arts Department of Drama); Tony® Award-nominee Montego Glover (Memphis); Rachel Hoffman (Telsey +Co); Alecia Parker (NAMCO); Nick Scandalios (Nederlander Organization); and Bernie Telsey (Telsey + Co).
And then it was Monday! We all headed to the Minskoff Theater for tech rehearsal with the crew and orchestra. Before we knew it, it was time…the lights dimmed in the theater, all 62 nominees ran on stage and the orchestra started to play.
There were seven different medleys, including one full of Bakers from Into the Woods. Once the medleys were complete, the finalists were selected and solos performed.
Congratulations to all the finalists, and the winners of the 2013 Jimmy Awards – Sarah Lynn Marion, from Hunting Beach High School Academy for the Performing Arts, representing the John Raitt Awards for Youth, and Taylor Varga, from Newton High School, representing the Connecticut High School Musical Theater Awards.
It was an incredible journey from the time we arrived in New York to the goodbyes on Tuesday morning. Best of luck to Chandler and Tim, I’m sure we’ll see you both on Broadway again!
To see more photos visit the NHSMTA flickr page.