HVCHS students complete their final projects for the Performing Arts Academy

Twenty-one Performing Arts Academy students have completed their final projects in the new Black Box Theater at Hopewell Valley Central High School.

It was the first time that students in the program could give a live recital and the premiere of the new performance space, according to a press release.

The Performing Arts Academy provides a three-year artistic experience for emerging artists who possess exceptional talent and motivation in the performing arts. The academy is a place where serious students have access to qualified faculty, like-minded peers and a creative space to develop their artistic talent, according to the statement.

The Academy of Performing Arts offers students the opportunity to follow one of five different tracks: Dance, Theater Arts, Orchestra (Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Electric or Acoustic Guitar, Electric or Upright Bass/Drums, Music vocal and orchestra (all string instruments).

Thespian Troupe 7964 has received numerous honors from the New Jersey State Thespian Festival. Frankie Bancroft and Payton Tharp for Solo Musical Theatre, Sophia Parsons for Contrasting Monologues, Elliot Block and Piper received top medals for their events. Room for duet musical theatre, and Ella Williams and Rachel Thornton for their short film.

Ella and Rachel also received an award from the Governor of New Jersey for their film, according to the statement.

Elliot and Piper’s duet was selected as one of four festival pieces to feature in the showcase.

A record 12 Foxy Award nominations have been announced for the fall play “Much Ado About Nothing.”

The production of “Big Fish” was also nominated for 10 Paper Mill Rising Star Awards, including Best Overall Production; Best Actor, Elliott Block; Best Actress, Piper Room; director, Katie Rochon; Best Chorus; best orchestra; Best Musical Direction; Best Choreography; better lighting; and Best Costuming, according to the release.

The Color Guard was named SRAA Champion. The Hopewell Valley Indoor Color Guard performed at the MAIN (Mid Atlantic Indoor Network) Championships at the PPL Arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Color Guard finished in first place, winning the first championship in indoor program history.

The symphony group achieved a silver rating. On March 23, the Symphonic Band performed at the CJMEA (Central Jersey Music Educators Association) Concert Band Festival.

Roxbury Invitational Festival Results: On March 26, the HVCHS Choir program competed against choirs from eight other jazz and classical music schools. The results were: Grace Lee, Outstanding Soloist with Honorable Mention; Elliott Block, second soloist; Vox Central Jazz: Silver Rating; Chamber singers: gold rating; and great classical choir champions.

The second year of the Region II Jazz Choir, Samanvita Kamath, has been accepted into the NJAJE Region II Specialty Jazz Choir.

Vox Central Jazz members performed at the New Jersey State Vocal Jazz Festival on April 28 and received a gold rating; four out of four years they achieved that rating, according to the statement. Other awards were: Outstanding Viola Section for Emma Ababa, Aya Nestle, May Hartog, Janya Arunkumar, Kelly Thomas and Jeri Nestle; and an Outstanding Soloist Award for Elliot Block. Vox is the jazz choir auditioned at the CHS.

In orchestra, Erin Goldsmith, double bass of the HVCHS Orchestra, has been accepted into the Region II Orchestra and the All State Orchestra. She will audition for the Nationals in June.

Orchestra students who have applied for the CJMEA Honorary Orchestra include Benjamin Ault, Lena Ondreyka, Emmanuelle Ababa, Irina Cowles, Josephine Blankstein, Joontae Hwang, and Franklin Wang.

The chamber orchestra and soloists, Franklin Wang and Irina Cowles, participated in the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival on May 6. All county winners will advance to the State Competition at Middlesex County College in Edison.