The Blumey Awards

The eighth annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards culminated Sunday, May 19, at a gala award celebration where winners in 15 categories were announced and nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress and Wells Fargo Best Musical performed live on stage at Belk Theater. The Blumey Awards were presented by Wells Fargo.

The eighth annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards culminated Sunday, May 19, at a gala award celebration where winners in 15 categories were announced and nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress and Wells Fargo Best Musical performed live on stage at Belk Theater. The Blumey Awards were presented by Wells Fargo.

Pine Lake Preparatory School won the Tier 1 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Bright Star. Ardrey Kell High School won the Tier 2 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Curtains. Arella Flur from Charlotte Latin School won Best Actress for her portrayal of “Mary Poppins” in Mary Poppins. Sayo Oni from Central Academy of Technology and Arts won Best Actor for his portrayal of “Drew” in Rock of Ages.

Arella Flur and Sayo Oni 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 24.

“We’re so proud of all the students, faculty and staff from the 48 schools who participated in the 2019 Blumey Awards. Mounting a musical is one of the most collaborative activities imaginable combining the talents of performers, tech crews, marketers and others,” said Blumenthal President/CEO Tom Gabbard. “Every one of these schools has reason to celebrate their achievements, as well as the friendships made and the personal growth that each student has experienced.”

Sixteen student critics also participated in the Student Critic Program in association with the 8th 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 sixteen Student Critics, Kaelin Shirley from Mallard Creek High School was awarded “The Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award” at The Blumey Awards, chosen by the editors at The Charlotte Observer.

Amy Burkett of WTVI emceed the black-tie event. This year, The Blumey Awards will also be broadcast on WTVI on May 28 at 8 p.m., May 30 at 9 p.m., June 22 at 6 p.m. and June 23 at 2 p.m.

Among the award presenters and special guests were Ethan Holtzman (2018 Blumey Awards Best Actor winner), Tyler McKenzie (Central Academy of Technology and Arts graduate and current Hamilton ensemble member), Amy Blumenthal, Annette Tanner (Broadway Dreams) and Joe O’Connor (WFAE).

2019 Blumey Awards winners:

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 1: Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

(Musical production budget of under $10,000)

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 2: Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

(Musical production budget of $10,000 and greater)

Best Actor: Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Sayo Oni as Drew- Rock of Ages: High School Edition

Best Actress: Charlotte Latin School- Arella Flur as Mary Poppins- Mary Poppins

Best Supporting Actor: Stuart W. Cramer High School- Alex Manley as Schroeder- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Supporting Actress: cfa Academy- Mia Rice as Irene Molloy- Hello, Dolly!

Best Featured Performer: cfa Academy- Brittany Schell as Minnie Fay- Hello, Dolly!

Best Overall Direction: Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Best Ensemble/Chorus: Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

Best Choreography Execution: Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Best Student Orchestra: Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Best Costume Creation: Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Set Construction: Providence High School- Newsies

Technical Achievement Award: Stuart W. Cramer High School- Emily Harris

Special Recognition in Technical Achievement: Gaston Day School- Eli Dills

Charlotte Observer Student Critic Award: Mallard Creek High School- Kaelin Shirley

Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, five students were awarded college scholarships. The Mary Doctor Performing Arts Scholarship annually benefits two graduating high school seniors within the Charlotte region who are preparing to major in performance or a technical area of the performing arts. Scholarships are typically $10,000 and are annually renewable during a student’s four-year undergraduate program. This year, the Mary Doctor committee selected Emily Harris from Stuart W. Cramer High School and Amil Brothers from Northwest School of the Arts. Already an accomplished young costume designer, Emily will attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), and Amil Brothers, a talented and skilled dancer, will begin her freshman year at Pittsburgh’s Point Park University.

The Gordon Hay Scholarship Committee recently selected Caitlyn Brown from Central Academy of Technology and Arts as this year’s scholarship recipient. Each year, a deserving high school senior or college freshman or sophomore is selected to receive this unique $5,000 scholarship. The award is not for tuition, class fees, or living expenses, but for special learning opportunities related to the recipient’s career interest in a nonperforming area of the performing arts (e.g. lighting and sound design, set design, costume design, stage management, etc.). Caitlyn’s career goal is set design.

Because of the tremendous talent base among this year’s Gordon Hay candidates, three generous committee members pooled personal funds to provide an additional $2,500 award to Danielle Vanasse from Independence High School and the same amount to Bethany Houston from Nation Ford high School. In the fall, Danielle will attend UNC Greensboro and Bethany will attend College of Charleston.

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 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 eight 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 featured a performance by each of the six nominated schools in the best musical category, a medley of performances by the six finalists for Best Actor and for Best Actress, and an opening and closing number that featured two students from each of the 48 participating schools.

David Dabbon once again served as music director and orchestrator for The Blumey Awards. David is a New York based composer and Grammy nominated orchestrator and has served as the music director since the inaugural Blumey Awards ceremony in 2012.

Linda Booth, a Charlottean, choreographed the opening and closing numbers as well as the medleys. As a teaching artist, Linda has worked with over 20,000 youth, and she has choreographed over 200 productions, in regional, educational, and professional theatre.

The schools that competed this year included: Arborbrook Christian Academy, Ardrey Kell High School, Cannon School, Carmel Christian School, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus High School, cfa Academy, Charlotte Catholic High School, Charlotte Christian, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, Christ the King Catholic High School, Covenant Day School, Cuthbertson High School, David W Butler High School, Davidson Day School, East Lincoln High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Forestview High School, Fort Mill High School, Gaston Day School, Hickory Ridge High School, Highland School of Technology, Independence High School, Jay M. Robinson High School, Lake Norman High School, Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy, Lincolnton High School , Mallard Creek High School, Nation Ford High School, North Lincoln High School, Northwest Cabarrus High School, Northwest School of the Arts, Northwestern High School, Piedmont Community Charter School, Pine Lake Preparatory School, Providence High School, Shelby High School, South Mecklenburg High School, South Pointe High School, SouthLake Christian Academy, Stuart W. Cramer High School, theHUB@CBTC, Weddington High School, Westminister Catawba Christian School, William A. Hough High School, York Comprehensive High School.

This year's nominees for The Blumey Awards were:

Best Student Orchestra

East Mecklenburg High School- Anything Goes

Hickory Ridge High School- Little Shop of Horrors

Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Northwestern High School- Newsies

Providence High School- Newsies

William A. Hough High School- Fiddler on the Roof

Best Set Construction

Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

cfa Academy- Hello, Dolly!

Gaston Day School- Fiddler on the Roof

Lake Norman High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Providence High School- Newsies

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Costume Creation

Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Rock of Ages: High School Edition

cfa Academy- Hello, Dolly!

Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Piedmont Community Charter School- Mary Poppins

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Choreography Execution

Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

Charlotte Country Day School- Catch Me If You Can

Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Ensemble/Chorus

Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Providence High School- Newsies

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Overall Direction

Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

Lake Norman High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Supporting Actor

Cannon School- Griffin Jones as Man in the Chair- The Drowsy Chaperone

Fort Mill High School- Emmett Froebrich as Gideon- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Northwest School of the Arts- Rixey Terry as Mike- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- J. T. Sutek as Billy Cane- Bright Star

Providence High School- Brandon Szep as Davey- Newsies

Stuart W. Cramer High School- Alex Manley as Schroeder- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Best Supporting Actress

Ardrey Kell High School- Sara Stone as Carmen Bernstein- Curtains

cfa Academy- Mia Rice as Irene Molloy- Hello, Dolly!

Lake Norman High School- Emily Faria as Sally- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Northwest School of the Arts- Carlyn Head as Katherine Blake- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Amanda Foss as Margo- Bright Star

William A. Hough High School- Julia Leeman as Hodel- Fiddler on the Roof

Best Featured Performer

Ardrey Kell High School- Richard Barker as Christopher Belling- Curtains

cfa Academy- Brittany Schell as Minnie Fay- Hello, Dolly!

Fort Mill High School- Spencer Dulin as Frank- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Northwest School of the Arts- Brooke Watts as Ms. Meyers- Freaky Friday

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Andrew Battalia as Daryl- Bright Star

William A. Hough High School- Haley Vogel as Tzeitel and Grandma Tzeitel- Fiddler on the Roof

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 1

Nation Ford High School- Young Frankenstein

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Bright Star

Stuart W. Cramer High School- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 2

Ardrey Kell High School- Curtains

Northwest School of the Arts- Freaky Friday

Providence High School- Newsies

Finalists for Best Actor

Ardrey Kell High School- John Parker Demos as Aaron Fox- Curtains

Cannon School- Cole Ventura as Aldolpho- The Drowsy Chaperone

Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Sayo Oni as Drew- Rock of Ages: High School Edition

cfa Academy- Asher Vanderburg as Cornelius Hackel- Hello, Dolly!

Charlotte Country Day School- Jack Flowers as Carl Hanratty- Catch Me If You Can

Charlotte Latin School- William Kressner as Bert- Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins

Covenant Day School- Luke Protasewich as Phantom- The Phantom of the Opera

Cuthbertson High School- Wesley Franks as Sam- Mamma Mia!

Forestview High School- Scout Stamey as Curly- Oklahoma!

Fort Mill High School- Will Roque as Adam- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Gaston Day School- Ben King as Tevye- Fiddler on the Roof

Lake Norman High School- Ivan Dixon as Charlie Brown- You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Nation Ford High School- Jackson Ringley as Frederick Frankenstein- Young Frankenstein

Northwest School of the Arts- Izzat Monroe as Adam- Freaky Friday

Piedmont Community Charter School- Tanner Bowers as Bert- Mary Poppins

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Chris Hyslop as Jimmy Ray Dobbs- Bright Star

South Mecklenburg High School- Cavan Meade as Tom Thumb- Barnum

Stuart W. Cramer High School- Jacob Hooks as Charlie Brown- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Westminster Catawba Christian School- Luke Hancock as Jean Valjean- Les Miserables

William A. Hough High School - Drew Colven as Tevye- Fiddler on the Roof

Finalists for Best Actress

Ardrey Kell High School- Leigh Hrischenko as Georgia Hendricks- Curtains

Cannon School- Isabella Ortiz as Janet Van de Graff- The Drowsy Chaperone

Central Academy of Technology and Arts- Miia Harris as Sherrie- Rock of Ages: High School Edition

cfa Academy- Sarah Ann Burke as Dolly Levi- Hello, Dolly!

Charlotte Latin School- Arella Flur as Mary Poppins- Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins

Christ the King Catholic High School- Gabriella DuPont as Peggy Sawyer- 42nd Street

Covenant Day School- Kimmi Curcio as Christine- The Phantom of the Opera

Forestview High School- Grace Miller as Ado Annie- Oklahoma!

Fort Mill High School- Gillian Huntley as Milly- Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Gaston Day School- Sarah Wehmueller as Hodel- Fiddler on the Roof

Lake Norman High School- Jordan O'Sullivan as Lucy- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

Liberty Preparatory Christian Academy- Chrissa Weir as Orphie- Orphie and the Book of Heroes

Mallard Creek High School- Faith Hart as Olive Ovstrovsky- The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

Nation Ford High School- Gracie Bentley as Inga- Young Frankenstein

Northwest School of the Arts- Zoe Freeman as Ellie Blake- Freaky Friday

Piedmont Community Charter School -McKenna Lawler as Marry Poppins- Mary Poppins

Pine Lake Preparatory School- Piper Loebach as Alice Murphy- Bright Star

Providence High School- Kara Kucsma as Katherine- Newsies

Stuart W. Cramer High School- Marissa Garrison as Sally- You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

William A. Hough High School- Sophia Leeman as Golde- Fiddler on the Roof

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