Shady Side Academy students up for Gene Kelly Award
By Tawnya Panizzi
Published: Sunday, May 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
When Shady Side Academy theater students put on “West Side Story” this spring, musical director Dan Brill said the challenges were the reward.
“There is not a more musically challenging Broadway score,” said Brill, chairman of the Shady Side Academy Arts Department.
Now, a coveted nomination in the annual Pittsburgh CLO-sponsored Gene Kelly Awards is “icing on the cake,” he said.
“I'm so proud of our students,”Brill said. “Through their high level of skill, commitment and musicianship, they supported and enhanced the stage action.
“Just playing that music is a joy.”
The school earned a nod in the “Best All-Student Orchestra” category against North Hills, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh CAPA and Plum.
The award ceremony, in its 23rd year, is scheduled for Saturday, May 25, at the Benedum Center, downtown Pittsburgh.
Founded in 1991, the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater recognizes student skill and dedication, and is meant to focus community attention on the importance of arts education.
Co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh, the awards have spawned an impressive list of winners who have gone on to celebrated Broadway and Hollywood careers, among them Central Catholic graduate Zachary Quinto, of “Star Trek into Darkness” fame.
The ceremony is patterned after the Tony Awards, with categories marking achievements not only by those on stage. There are accolades for behind-the-scenes skills, including Best Scenic Design, Costume and Lighting.
Winners of the Best Actor and Actress categories will travel to New York in July to take part in the National High School Musical Theater Awards.
Brill said the music for the iconic script about two New York street gangs is more than just typical stock accompaniment.
Whereas he usually rehearses once a week leading up to the production, this show required twice-a-week practices for the 18-member student orchestra.
“It was written by Leonard Bernstein. It is sophisticated, real music; not just a nice tune,” he said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Website launched from O’Hara gaining popularity; offers reviews, original games
- Fox Chapel residents to pay more for sewage service
- Courses teach secrets of gardening at Cooper-Siegel Community Library
- Grant money could help make Aspinwall Riverfront Park entrance safer