| Neighborhoods

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Shady Side Academy students up for Gene Kelly Award

Jan Pakler | The Herald
Shady Side Academy members of the string orchestra are Roy Navic, back left, Zachary Kosbie, Tony Satryan and Bruce Morrison, as well as Sylvie Lee, front left, Leah Liv, and Arya Reddy. These seven member, along with 11 others, are nominated for their work on the musical 'West Side Story.'

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

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

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.




Show commenting policy

Most-Read Fox Chapel

  1. Indiana Twp. siblings place in Bible Bowl
  2. Fulbright Scholarship sends Indiana Twp. man to Indonesia
  3. Aspinwall Meals on Wheels reaching out for new customers
  4. Blawnox officials seek way to shoo geese from park
  5. St. Margaret doctor delivers keynote speech during Orlando conference
  6. O’Hara aims to keep vehicles off RIDC walkway
  7. Photos: Mini-camp in Sharpsburg teaches kids basketball skills
  8. Aspinwall road resurfacing starts