NWSA Garners National Attention
A graduate of New World School of the Arts (NWSA) made headlines this summer when he won his first Tony Award. Musical division alumnus Alex Lacamoire received a Tony for Best Orchestrations on one of Broadway’s hottest musicals, In the Heights, for which he is also co-arranger, conductor and musical director. With thirteen nominations, the musical secured three other Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score and Best Choreography.
“I am so honored that I won a Tony!” Lacamoire said. “This is basically the highest honor that I can get in my field. … The fact that I got one for a piece that I’ve devoted so much of my life and my passion to is the most rewarding and validating kind of recognition I’ve ever gotten.”
Also this summer, Chris Sutton, a dancer who graduated in 2002 from NWSA and has appeared on Broadway in the musical Cry-Baby, expanded his creative horizons when he designed a dress for fellow cast-member Mayumi Miguel for the Tony Awards television broadcast.
And Susie García, who trained in dance at NWSA, took a break from her job teaching high school dance in Doral to compete on Fox’s Emmy-nominated So You Think You Can Dance. Judge and choreographer Mia Michaels is also an NWSA grad.
NWSA is consistently praised on the national stage. Last year, U.S. News and World Report included the high school division in its list of Gold Medal schools, an annual ranking of the top 100 public high schools in the nation. NWSA was just one of a handful of Florida schools identified on the list.
In addition, several current students have recently made headlines. From a nationwide pool of 8,000 candidates, the 2008 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts awarded five NWSA students the prestigious title of youngARTS finalist. Two dance students, Gentry George and Melissa Fernández, and three visual arts students, Cathryn García-Menocal, Sheena Klimonski and Román Arévalo, were selected for their outstanding artistic contributions.
In visual arts, high school student Laura Sánchez was honored to have her work in prominent exhibitions during Art Basel. Alumni Bert Rodríguez and Adler Guerrier – graduates of the visual arts division – were invited to participate in one of the most prominent exhibitions of current American art, the Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
And NWSA College Opera Theatre Ensemble delighted audiences with Mozart’s Così fan tutte, which was directed by faculty member Jeffrey Buchman.
“I believe it is worthwhile to consider how a tried-and-true work might be reinterpreted by today’s young audiences and singers,” Buchman said. “Mozart lends itself very well to modernization, especially when the beauty of his music and the comedy of his libretti are given free rein. I think our setting for Così fan tutte is fresh and vivid.”
— Katherine Joss
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