Please email Melissa Brookes to submit your good news for our newsletter, Facebook page, and other CAA publications.
Patrick Stratton (Music, ‘08) is DJing at Lollapalooza noon on August 4th at the Perry’s stage.
Melissa (Maisie) Schloss, Visual Arts, ‘09) has been named a finalist for the Womenswear Designer of the Year award at Parsons The New School for Design in New York. She is one of just 14 students out of hundreds to be nominated; the selection of finalists was based on students’ thesis collections.
Morgan Williams (Dance, '08) has currently made it passed the first round of the dreaded "Vegas Week" on Fox's hit show So You Think You Can Dance.
Garth Johnson (Dance, ‘09) is currently performing in the Off-Broadway show, Sleep No More. Entertainment Weekly describes this unique play as “a mash-up of Shakespeare's Macbeth and 1930s film noir that combines elements of theater, dance, and haunted fun house for a unique evening that engages all of the senses.” Taking place on five floors of a warehouse space, audience members are encouraged to explore the production and no two patrons experience the show in the exact same way.
Matt Frain (Dance, ‘06) is now dancing with the Richmond Ballet, most recently in Studio Three: New Works Festival. A review in GayRVA described his performance as “a haunting and beautifully performed solo.”
Heather Day (Visual Arts, ‘08) presented her first solo exhibition, Sideways: Paintings By Heather Day at the Hillyer Art Space in Washington, D.C. Opening night was Friday, April 5th, and the show ran through April 25th. Heather’s current work “involves a process of layering paint, fibers and various marks, ultimately revealing a history of decay and the cycle personal relationships.”
Alex Peifer (Visual Arts ‘14) and Rose Doetsch (Visual Arts ‘14) both won scholarships from the Anthony Quinn Foundation to attend the summer pre-college program of their choice. The Foundation offers “scholarship support to gifted young adults seeking to further their talents” with a mission of advocating “the important role arts education plays in personal development and in the overall improvement of social, economic and cultural systems.” Alex and Rose are among only ten recipients of this prestigious annual award.
Jake Ogbobly (Visual Arts, ‘16) is part of the Student Leadership Team at Facing History and Ourselves, an organization dedicated to “combating racism, anti-semitism and prejudice.” This year, the team has met with Luma Mufleh, an educator, author of best-selling Outcasts United, and founder of the Fugees Foundation, as well as Dr. Prothrow-Stith, a Youth Violence Expert, Physician, and former Associate Dean of Harvard's Public Health School.
Lilly Freedman (Visual Arts, ‘14) was recently awarded a merit scholarship to attend The School of the Art Institute’s Early College Program.
Judith Edlund (Theater, ‘14) has joined the Cindy Bandle Young Critic’s Program at the Goodman Theatre. This highly selective program is a joint venture between The Goodman and the Association for Women Journalists - Chicago, designed to introduce “young women to theater criticism and the world of professional writing.” Participants receive season tickets, one-on-one mentoring, interviewing opportunities, and have their critiques posted on The Goodman's website. As part of this program, Judith was recently featured on the “Morning AMp” radio show broadcast on Vocalo, WBEZ’s sister station, where she critiqued The Goodman's Production of Measure for Measure.
Ava Saunders (Musical Theater, '16) recently went on a trip to India with Global GIrls Inc, an “engaging and often cutting-edge youth performing arts organization” whose mission is to “nurture individual growth and expression while inspiring people to use their talents for positive change in the community and throughout the world.” Ava was one of six girls who travelled to Kattaikkutu Sangram in Tamil, Nadu near Chennai, India to create and perform original theater reflecting girls’ issues and concerns.
Michael Hall (Music, Faculty) is currently on an East Coast recital tour with composer Mara Gibson. The tour visits the University of Virginia, the Salon Series in Philadelphia, Ithaca College, NY and Bennington College, and features new compositions written specifically for Michael. In addition to the performances, the two musicians are also giving masterclasses, colloquiums, lessons and doing outreach projects.
Robin Spears-DaSilva (Music ‘86) is performing in Smokey Joe's Cafe at The Royal George Theatre now through May 26. A revue of Leiber and Stoller songs (Yakety Yak, Hound Dog, Love Potion #9), the show earned a highly recommended rating from the Chicago Sun-Times. A recent Stage and Cinema review called Dasilva a “big mama” belter” who “sang the stuffing” out of her solos, noting that “Jennifer Hudson has another Chicago rival.”
Darrian Ford (Dance '85) created and stars in The Cooke Book, a national touring production of his tribute to Sam Cooke. The show recently ran four nights at the Vogel Theatre of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts in Milwaukee. A review in Third Coast Digest praised Ford for “his ability to make each note silky-smooth and gruff in the same breath, as well as the sincere, soulful delivery of his phrases.” Randy Duncan took in the performance and reported that Darrian “brought the house down!”
Steve Summers (Media Arts, faculty) is having his video Empire screened at The Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh from March 29 through April 11. Empire is a “meditation on time, mortality and the moving image.Jumping off of Andy Warhol's 1964 film of the same name, it confronts the audience with a nearly static image, bringing an awareness of their own presence and the limitations of existence.” The Mattress Factory is a contemporary art museum known for exhibiting room-sized installations.
Justin Tranter (Music, ‘98) and his band Semi Precious Weapons have released a new single, Aviation High. A recent review calls it a “slow-churning powerhouse that blends a thrusting groove, Tranter's brooding vocals and a soaring melodic chorus that's too irresistible to be denied” and MTV’s Buzzworthy Blog declared it one of the 5 Must-Hear Pop Songs.
Cecily Strong (Theatre, ‘02) was a recent guest on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. She is a current cast member on Saturday Night Live.
Rena Butler (Dance, ‘07) is the featured On the Rise dancer in the March edition of Dance Magazine. Rena is currently performing in Pavement, the sole woman in a piece based loosely on the 1991 movie Boyz n the Hood. “In this moment in my career, I am heavily reflecting on where it all began,” she says. “I am forever, forever grateful for my training at the Academy.”
Kelli Harrington (Musical Theater faculty) is performing in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love at the No Exit Cafe through April 21. Hailed as a “huge talent” and “spectacularly suited to the role” in a recent Chicago Tribune review, Kelli plays Rose Vibert.
Courtney Cook (Media Arts, ‘14) was awarded a national gold medal by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her collection of four poems. Less than 2,000 of the more than 230,000 works of art and writing submitted earned national recognition, placing winners in the top 1% of all entries. Medal winners are invited to attend the national awards ceremony on May 31 at Carnegie Hall, which will be webcast live.
Colin Mohr ('13, Music) placed first in the International Young Composers Competition held at CAA on Saturday, March 9, with Addison McDaniel ('13, Music) earning second place honors. The musicians were awarded $200 and $125 respectively and had their compositions performed by Ensemble Dal Niente. Composers under 18 were eligible to enter songs scored for trios (violin, piano and percussion) into the competition.
Joey Massarelli (Dance ’14) won first place in the Contemporary category and second place in the Ballet category at the 2013 Youth American Grand Prix ballet competition. YGAP is the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition that awards over $250,000 annually in scholarships to leading dance schools worldwide. The competition is held annually around the world and in New York City, and is open to dance students of all nationalities 9-19 years old.
Michelle Ravitsky (Music ’15) placed first in her division the the Chicago Chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Classical Competition held at North Park University on March 9. Nick Foulk-Voegeli (Music '13) and Brianna Bragg (Music ’13) placed 2nd and 3rd place respectively in their division. Founded in 1944, NATS is the largest professional association of teachers of singing in the world with more than 7,000 members in the United States, Canada, and over twenty-five other countries.
Tim Rhoze (father of Kara Roseborough, Dance ‘14) has been featured in the Evanston Review, a publication of the Chicago Sun-Times. Tim is the artistic director if the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in Evanston and has performed in plays at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Victory Gardens Theater and Northlight Theater.
Teresana Barabba (Music ‘12) has been named to the Dean’s List at the Berklee College of Music in Boston for the Fall semester of the 2012 academic year. Students must achieve a grade point average of 3.4 or above to earn this honor.
Charlie Yokom (Music, ‘14), Kasia Szczech (Music, ‘13), and Rania Adamczyk (‘15) scored three short films that are official selections at the International Family Film Festival taking place May 1st through 5th at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California. Produced by Verve Studios, selected films include Path to the Presidency, The Science of Friendship and Got Talent.
Nathan J. Laube (Music ‘04) has been named Assistant Organ Professor at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York.
Elenna Sindler (Music ‘16) is performing in Raining Season April 25 at Deerpath Middle School in Lake Forest. As part of the United States Holocaust Museum’s Teen Committee on Conscience, Elenna helped conceive this play by interviewing survivors from four genocides: Cambodia, Darfur, the Holocaust and Rwanda. Told in the words of survivors, it has been performed to more than 5,000 people in an effort to raise awareness and empower young people to make a difference in the world.
Olivia Renteria (Musical Theater ‘14) has been cast in two professional shows. Earlier this semester, she played Gracie Shen in The Music Man, which ran January 16 through February 3 at the Paramount in Aurora. This spring she will be in Oliver!, which runs April 4 through June 2 at Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace.
Katie Steele (Media Arts ‘14) has three poems published in the current issue Eclectica literary magazine. She is the featured poet on the home page and appears in the contributor’s notes as well.
Frances Garcia (Visual Arts ‘15), in conjunction with Gallery 37, is creating a glass mosaics project to be installed on the side of a Chicago Public School building. Frances is one of two designers commissioned for this project, which features a totem pole design with incorporated shapes and images. Installation will occur in the spring. Gallery 37 Center for the Arts provides “innovative arts programs, including After School Matters and the Chicago Public Schools’ Advanced Arts Education Program.”
Jasmine Zepeda (Music ‘14) won 4th place in her division at the Jazz Improvisation Competition sponsored by the Union League Club's Civic & Arts Foundation. Held February 13th at Buddy Guy's Legends, Jasmine was awarded $600 for her winning performance. The Union League Civic & Arts Foundation’s (CAF) mission is to “promote arts education and appreciation by creating and conducting arts competitions to encourage and reward young artists, and by enhancing exposure to the arts in the greater Chicago area.”
Courtney Cook (Media Arts, ‘14) was awarded 8 Gold Keys for 3 short stories, 4 poetry collections, and one piece of flash fiction by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These works now move forward for national adjudication. In addition, Courtney’s short story Latex Saves was selected as Best in Show for the region and nominated for the American Voices Award. Courtney also earned 2 Silver Keys for two other short stories. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is billed by the organization as the “longest-running, most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the U.S., and the largest source of scholarships for young artists and writers.”
Melania Lancy (College Counselor) was recently featured as a guest artist at Grinnell College for the second year running. Last year, she worked as scenic designer for an adaptation of three short stories by Salman Rushdie; this year she was the scenic designer for The Pitmen Painters, a play by Lee Hall. Ms. Lancy is also resident scenic designer at Signal Ensemble Theatre.
CAA Student Performances A Knock-out at Taste
CAA students earned thunderous applause at Tuesday ’s A Taste for the Arts Gala performance at the Harris Theater in Millennium Park. From film previews to the last dance step, the performance was a flawless celebration by the school’s emerging artists.
Thank you to the nearly 700 guests who attended the performance and the 400 who continued the celebration on the Millennium Park Rooftop Terrace. We would also like to thank the generous chefs who supported our students with their wonderful cuisine.
A Taste for the Arts raised over $350,000 for scholarship, program enhancements and for renovations to CAA's Black Box Theatre.
"When our students step onto the stage of the Harris Theater, we see their future as artists and know that they will perform on some of the world’s most prominent stages”, said Head of School Pamela Jordan. “We are so pleased to share their talent with Chicago.”
A Taste for the Arts Gala is CAA’s primary fundraising event, and provides critical support for the ongoing success of the school – Illinois’ premier arts high school and one of only four independent arts high schools in the United States. Funds raised through the event will support CAA’s groundbreaking programs, international partnerships and scholarships, ensuring CAA’s place as a leader and model for excellence in arts education
Upcoming Performances and EventsThursday, May 23
Pritzker Auditorium, Harold Washington Library
Tuesday, May 28
7pm, Music Department Recital
Roosevelt University, Curtiss Hall
Thursday, May 30
12pm, Eat to the Beat
CAA Repertory Dance Company
Harris Theater for Theater and Dance
For tickets go to: Harris Theater Eat to the Beat