New World School Of The Arts Presents
“rising Stars” Showcase
It was a stellar evening as New World School of the Arts students once again staged their signature fundraiser Rising Stars. The evening began with a visual arts exhibition at the New World Gallery showcasing an array of creative interpretations by NWSA high school and college students. For the first time in the 21 years of Rising Stars, the student artwork was offered for sale, allowing guests to own a piece of NWSA history. With canvasses in hand, guests strolled to the Gusman Theater for the performing arts presentation.
The carefully orchestrated show roared to life as gifted artists representing the four arts divisions staged Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting it Together.” The Dance Division kicked off the performances with an upbeat rendition of “Funki Urban”, choreographed by NWSA’s famed Peter London, as well as Robert Battle’s “The Hunt”, a sensuous interpretation of primal hunting rituals. Presenting a Sextet from the opera “Lucia di Lammermoor”, the Music Division beautifully demonstrated the operatic command of its college students, and the Jazz Ensemble, led by Jim Gasior, offered the elegant “Symphony in Riffs”, by legendary alto saxophonist Benny Carter. Closing the first Act was “Night on the Bare Mountain,” under the baton of maestro Alfred Gershfeld, as the NWSA symphony orchestra passionately performed the 19th century composition by Modest Mussorgsky.
Showcasing a splendid collection of period and modern costumes crafted by NWSA’s resident costumes designer Estela Vrancovich, the Theater Division performed short excerpts from its acclaimed season. Featured were Claire Boothe’s popular 1936 comedy of manners, “The Women;” staged by the college theater students, and Thoroughly Modern Millie’s “Forget About the Boy”, flawlessly staged by the high school music theater group. The 2009 NWSA Rising Stars Showcase concluded with an inspiring medley from the musical “Titanic.”
The Alumnus of the Year award, presented each year to a successful NWSA alum, went to 2006 music graduate Jencarlos Canela. Best known for his popular music jingle “Ride it Like a Ford,” used by the automaker in its national advertising campaign, Canela delivered a heartfelt address demonstrating the deep roots, gratitude and emotions that still tie him to the school. Joining NWSA Provost Dr. Mercedes A. Quiroga in the presentation were NWSA High School Principal Dr. Frederic Conde and the four art division deans: Patrice Bailey (theater), Maggy Cuesta (visual arts), Jeffrey Hodgson (music) and Daniel Lewis (dance).
Rising Stars guests continued the celebration at a Benefit Reception at the Bank of America Tower Sky Lobby Terrace where NWSA dance students welcomed guests with an energetic display of tap dance. Savory food stations, jazz tunes under a beautiful star-filled sky and a breathtaking view from atop one of Miami’s most stunning architectural landmarks, was the perfect culmination for New World School of the Arts’ Rising Stars Showcase. Among the guests who enjoyed the evening were Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho, MDC Wolfson Campus President Rolando Montoya, University of Florida Dean of the College of Fine Arts Lucinda Lavelli, NWSA board members, Key88 donor members, arts patrons, supporters, community leaders, and members of the media along with NWSA faculty and administration.
NWSA acknowledges its 2009 Rising Stars sponsors for their invaluable support: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, Bank of America, Bacardi, Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, Caracol Radio, Univision Radio, Univision TV, and Miami Monthly Magazine.