New World School of the Arts Rising Stars Showcase
The Rising Stars at New World School of the Arts shone brighter than ever in Miami. The end of the school-year extravaganza highlights student excellence and achievement through the mastering of their talents. This year’s showcase kicked off during an expansive art exhibit at NWSA’s Artseen Gallery, crowning the Second Saturday Art Walk, in Wynwood’s hip art scene. The show featured 43 high school and college students highlighting the diverse viewpoints and styles typical of NWSA’s student body. With an attendance by more than 500 guests on opening night, this unprecedented demonstration of support became the ideal introduction for another successful Rising Stars Showcase presentation that would soon follow.
Premiering at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, barely two weeks later, 284 of NWSA’s Rising Stars graced the stage captivating a crowd of 1,800, an all-time record attendance for the show. Strayhorn’s The Eight Veil, performed by NWSA’s award-winning Jazz Band and directed by Dr. Peter W. Brewer and Jim Gasior, Dean of Music at NWSA set a high standard for the numbers that would follow. Gerard Ebitz’s Passengers, the first of several dance choreographies, elegantly illustrated the world of train travel with a vast troupe 32 high school dancers sporting 1940’s attire, while Remembrances, a modern ballet created for an all-male cast of thirteen by NWSA’s Peter London, showcased the artistry and impeccable technique of its college performers. Pietro Mascagni’s Easter Hymn, from Cavalleria Rusticana, directed by Alfred Gershfeld and Albert Clark, underscored the schools’ comprehensive opera program as Anzeina Lopez, soprano, delivered a powerful solo that triggered a standing ovation as curtains dropped to mark the end of the first act. Under the baton of Lee Micheal Morrison, the second act sprung to life with the mesmerizing music of Wild Nights! by American composer Frank Ticheli.
Performed by the New World School of the Arts Wind Ensemble, the vibrant piece generated a crescendo of audience enthusiasm. Among the most captivating Theater numbers of the evening was the monologue triptych on stage performed by college seniors. Shira Abergel’s Nictor/Nictoria, Superuseless, written and performed by Ryan Didato, and Ballad of a Child Soldier, by Marckenson Charles kept the audience enthralled by their three very different but integrated presentations. Performed by the younger group of actors, Frank Loesser’s Brotherhood of Man, from the musical “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” was the perfect finale to the show. An unparalleled delivery of this exuberant number, by twenty music theater performers, culminated in a joint on-stage salute by the complete cast. The Rising Stars Alumnus of the Year award, presented each year to an alumnus, was presented to visual arts 1996 high school graduate Hernan Bas, by NWSA Provost Dr. Jeffrey Hodgson, High School Principal Dr. Frederic Conde and the art division deans, Maggy Cuesta (visual arts), Jim Gasior (music) and Daniel Lewis (dance). The recognition celebrated the success and accomplishments of Hernan, one of South Florida’s most celebrated artists.
The evening of the performance was preceded by a lively reception at Urbanite Bistro, just two blocks west of the Arsht Center. In attendance were New World School of the Arts Executive and Foundation Board members, New World School of the Arts, and Miami Dade College administrators, and officials of partner institutions Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the University of Florida, NWSA Key88 members, community leaders, and members of the media, as well as patrons and supporters of the school. Among distinguished guests were Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer for the state of Florida, and founding member and long-time supporter of New World School of the Arts, Dr. Rolando Montoya, Provost at Miami Dade College and member of the NWSA Executive Board, Dr. Mercedes Quiroga, also member of the Executive Board and MDC Wolfson Campus President, and Christina DePaul, President and CEO of YoungArts.
NWSA proudly acknowledges its 2010 Rising Stars sponsors for their invaluable support: Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, Bank of America, Radio Caracol, WLRN, Classical South Florida and Urbanite Bistro.