New World School of the Arts Rising Stars Exhibition and Performance

Alberto Carvahlo, Lisa Noffo, Jeffrey Hodgson
It was an unforgettable evening for the New World School of the Arts family and friends as the conservatory’s grandest event of the year once again took center stage at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Rising Stars, the end of the year all-school showcase sprung to life at the New World Gallery with an impressive collection of artwork by the visual artists. From a sublime video projection to poignant paintings and unexpected installations, the show even featured a reading insect reminiscent of Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis.’ The exhibition was a total success, drawing nearly 300 guests.

The Rising Stars exhibition was the ideal preface for the stellar Rising Stars performance, presented by Bank of America, which would follow just minutes away in Miami’s landmark Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. With a commanding list of more than 1,000 supporters, and an extraordinary roster of over 250 talented performers, the theater bustled with sheer exhilaration. The opening act, Show People from Curtains, set the mood for the rest of the evening, which to the delight of guests, featured treasured masterpieces, hilarious numbers, and impressive world premieres. Inspired by the Arno River that runs through the heart of Firenze, ARNO, a world-premiere by NWSA choreographer Gerard Ebitz, was elegantly performed by the college dancers to the music of Tchaikovsky, while an excerpt of The Virgin Queen, a deliciously satiric ballet about the Queen of England, choreographed by Darshan Singh Bhuller especially for New World School of the Arts, exhilarated guests who longed for more. Another highlight of the first act performed by high school students from the music and the dance divisions was Cloudburst, an aural and visual representation of a rainy landscape by Eric Whitacre.

Lisa Noffo, Lin Lougheed, Maggy Cuesta
Generating a standing ovation, the performance was flawlessly presented by a 65-member collaboration led by the Concert Choir Director Albert Clark and NWSA choreographer Dale Andreé. Meanwhile, short excerpts from The Girl from Maxims sprinkled a bit of humor during performances and kept guests at the edge of their seats with unstoppable laughter. The NWSA Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Alfred Gershfeld, culminated the first half of the showcase with a powerful rendition of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No 2 in E Minor. The award-winning Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Jim Gasior and Pete Francis, opened the equally tantalizing second act, highlighting the individual talents of its 21 members through exhilarating solos. The younger actors from the theater division, who offered an imposing excerpt from George Orwell’s Animal Farm were followed by a vibrant concerto by the Wind Ensemble. Directed by Lee Michael Morrison, more than two dozen wind instrumentalists admirably brought to life Saint-Saens’ Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 ‘Organ’ Finale. Excerpts from Stages by Lara Murphy, and from The Drowsy Chaperone by Bob Martin Don McKellar, were the perfect numbers to close the 2011 Rising Stars Showcase. The Rising Stars Alumnus of the Year award, presented each year to an alumnus, was offered to 2005 Dance BFA Miguel Quinones, by the New World School of the Arts Provost Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, High School Principal Lisa Noffo and the art division deans, Maggy Cuesta (visual arts), Jim Gasior (music), Patrice Bailey (Theater) and Daniel Lewis (dance).

Matias Minas, Tania and Juan Quintana, Frank Maruri
An intimate reception at La Loggia Restaurant, in downtown Miami, offered a select group of Rising Stars guests and friends of New World School of the Arts the opportunity to socialize and exchange thoughts about the exceptional evening showcase. NWSA proudly acknowledges its 2011 Rising Stars sponsors for their invaluable support: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, Bank of America, Radio Caracol, WLRN, and Classical South Florida.

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