Gene Kelly Awards announced at Benedum Center

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PITTSBURGH -  A near capacity crowd gathered at the Benedum Center as Allegheny County’s finest high school performers were honored at the Gene Kelly Awards.

 

Named for legendary performer and Pittsburgh native Gene Kelly, the annual celebration emphasizes the importance of arts education and recognizes the time, energy and dedication that local high schools devote to their musical productions each spring.

Patterned after the Tony Awards®, the ceremony included live performances by the Best Musical nominees along with the Best Actor/Actress nominees. Each nominated school performed a five-minute selection from their respective shows. Special guest presenters included local television personalities and Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly.

Pittsburgh CLO congratulates the 2012 Gene Kelly Awards winners, nominees and the following 32 participating Allegheny County high schools: Avonworth, Baldwin, Bishop Canevin, Central Catholic, Chartiers Valley, Deer Lakes, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton Township, Keystone Oaks, McKeesport, Moon, North Catholic, North Hills, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn Hills, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy, Pittsburgh Brashear, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh Perry, Plum, Quaker Valley, Riverview, St. Joseph, Serra Catholic, Springdale, West Allegheny, West Mifflin, Winchester Thurston and Woodland Hills.

The Charles Gray Award for Special Achievement in Arts Education was also presented to West Allegheny Middle School, in recognition of its enduring commitment to arts education by establishing diverse creative arts modules within their curriculum.  Together, technology and literacy coaches actively participate in developing arts education.

Earlier in the evening at a special reception, Pittsburgh CLO presented two Distinguished Alumni Awards.  These awards were established this year to recognize past Gene Kelly Awards participants who have gone on to successful careers in both the performing arts and other industries.  The awards were presented to Broadway veteran, Michael McGurk and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Yarone Zober.

This year, Pittsburgh CLO awarded over $87,000 in scholarships to several college-bound seniors at the ceremony.

Joe McGoldrick, representing Point Park University’s Musical Theater Department, presented Adrianne Knapp and Brandon Martin with a $5,000 per year, four-year scholarship to attend Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts for musical theater

Pittsburgh CLO awarded Gene Kelly Cash Scholarships totaling $10,000 were presented to two high school seniors who have applied and been accepted to a school for the performing or technical arts.  This year’s recipients are Elizabeth Faux and Zander Lyons. These merit-based scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of Paul Block, Virginia Nicklas, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Leslie Kerr and Drew Birns Creative Arts Scholarship.

The Pittsburgh CLO Ambassadors awarded $5,000 in scholarships to two college-bound students who will be pursuing a major outside of the arts.  The 2012 Ambassadors’ Scholarship winners were Hannah Devlin and David Kline.

The Pittsburgh CLO Guild awarded $4,000 scholarships to eight students who are pursuing a college education in the theater arts. The Guild presented scholarships in the name of Constance T. Rockwell and the Charity Randall Foundation to Tyler Harper, Alyssa Abraham, Gabrielle Bricker, Zander Lyons, Olivia Meyer, Savannah Spratt, Alexa Anderson and Rebecca Love.

 

The Recipients of the 2012 Gene Kelly Awards are:

 

Best Scenic Design

Budget Level I:

                        Quaker Valley

Budget Level II:

                        Avonworth

Budget Level III:

                        Woodland Hills

Best Costume Design

Budget Level I:

                        St. Joseph

Budget Level II:

                        Hampton

Budget Level III:

                        Winchester Thurston

            Best Lighting Design

Budget Level I:

                        Quaker Valley

Budget Level II:

                        Avonworth

Budget Level III:

                        Woodland Hills

Best All-Student Orchestra

Moon

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Benjamin Torisky of Quaker Valley for Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Emma Baker of Avonworth for Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd

Best Ensemble

Hampton

Best Crew/Technical Execution

Woodland Hills

Best Choreography

Hampton

Best Direction

Avonworth

Best Actor

Nathan Pool of Avonworth for Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd

Best Actress

Brooke Tate of Avonworth for Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd

The winners for Best Actor and Best Actress will be competing for the opportunity to represent Pittsburgh CLO’s Gene Kelly Awards in the third-annual National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York City on Monday, June 25. For more information on the National High School Musical Theater Awards, please visit www.nhsmta.com.

Best Musical

Budget Level I:

Quaker Valley for Guys and Dolls               

Budget Level II:

Avonworth for Sweeney Todd

Budget Level III:

Baldwin for Curtains

Now in its tenth year, The Kelly Critics program is a unique partnership between the Pittsburgh CLO and

Dr. Christopher Rawson. Dr. Rawson presented the Kelly Critics Award.  Jacob Schramm from Central Catholic was presented with the award for excellence in writing theatrical critiques.

Pittsburgh CLO’s Gene Kelly Awards are co-presented by the University of Pittsburgh with additional support provided by American Eagle Outfitters Foundation, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, PNC, Virginia S. Nicklas and the CLO Ambassadors.

The Charles Gray Award is made possible by the Roy A. Hunt Foundation.

The Pittsburgh CLO would also like to thank The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for the use of the Benedum Center and Deloitte for acting as the official auditor for the Gene Kelly Awards.