CAA Announces 2017 Overture Award Winners

CAA_Overture Awards logo$45,500 Awarded for Excellence in the Arts
Arts Educator Award Winner Also Announced

CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Arts Association is pleased to announce the winners of its Overture Awards Competition, held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater, and the winner of its Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction. The competition awarded $4,000 to six area students for education and training, with 18 runners-up each winning $1,000, while the Arts Educator Award winner received $2,500 and two finalists were awarded $500 each.

The Overture Awards recognizes, encourages and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12 and is the area’s largest solo arts competition. Students are nominated by their schools or private studios to compete in one of six disciplines: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. There are three levels of competition: Regional, Semi-Final, and Final.

The Arts Educator Award promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout Greater Cincinnati. An educator who teaches any of the following arts disciplines may be nominated: Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. They can be a high school arts specialist, teaching artist working with high school students, or an arts professional or educator providing private lessons or instruction. Nominations for the award must come from students between the ages of 14-19 who are currently enrolled in high school. The Arts Educator Award finalists and winner are selected by a panel of judges who are arts professionals.

2017 Overture Awards Winners

CREATIVE WRITING:  Olivia Short – grade 12, Mother of Mercy High School
HOMETOWN: Delhi, OH – Olivia Short is a poet and prospective English major. This is her second year as an Overture finalist. She works in school as a peer writing tutor, newspaper co-editor, and Creative Writing Club chair. Outside of school, she works with GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”), a local nonprofit, where she runs a lending library for LGBTQ youth. She sees writing as an extension of one’s culture, identity, and chosen family.

DANCE:  Annika Hsi – grade 10, Walnut Hills High School/Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet
HOMETOWN: Montgomery, OH – Annika began dancing at age five. Learning different genres, she found her passion in ballet. At age nine, she started training at Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet under Mr. Oliver Arana. She was a finalist at World Ballet Competition, Indianapolis International Ballet Competition, and was invited to compete at the Youth America Grand Prix finals in New York. Annika is excited to perform in the Overture finals for the second year.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC:  Christina Nam – grade 9, Walnut Hills High School
HOMETOWN: West Chester, OH – Christina loves communicating through playing violin. She made her solo debut with Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at age nine. She has enjoyed performing solos with many orchestras and won numerous prizes and awards nationally and internationally. She was a semi-finalist at the 8th Louis Spohr International Violin Competition held in Weimar, Germany. Christina is concertmaster of Starling Chamber Orchestra, WHHSCO, and a member of Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. She appeared twice on NPR’s From the Top and Showcase with Barbara Kellar on PBS/CET.

THEATER:  Anthony Frederickson – grade 9, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy/McCready Voice Studio
HOMETOWN: Mason, OH – Anthony, age 15, first found his passion for performing while participating in a theater camp at age 10. His family, and particularly his cousins, has inspired his journey. He has appeared in over 140 shows, including The Secret Garden (Colin) at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Center Stage in Baltimore, and Elf Jr. and The Wizard of Oz Jr. at the Taft Theatre. His dream is to be on Broadway.

VISUAL ART:  Ava Grannan – grade 12, Wyoming High School
HOMETOWN: Wyoming, OH – Ava started exploring art at a young age with her family at art galleries. Ava is a fashion designer in the making and plans to attend college. She is inspired by John Fluevog. Her work has been recognized by six gold keys in Scholastics, Ohio Governor’s Art Awards, and Rhode Island School of Design Art Book Awards. Ava loves to create, volunteer, and play Ultimate Frisbee. She works at a restaurant to save for college.

VOCAL MUSIC:  Katherine Sharp – grade 12, Indian Hill High School/The Music House (Anne Moss)
HOMETOWN: Indian Hill, OH – Katherine is honored to study music with Anne Moss (The Music House). She performs with the May Festival Youth Chorus and Indian Hill Church Choir, competed in the Schmidt Vocal Competition, and has sung the national anthem at Cincinnati Reds and Bengals games. Next year, Katherine plans to continue her passion for music by pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance.

2017 Arts educator award Winner

Becky Childs, UC-CCM Preparatory Department
Discipline: Musical Theater
Nominated by Annabel Forman

The Overture Awards Regional Competitions were held on January 21 at the Mount Saint Joseph University, Northern Kentucky School of Music of Immanuel UMC, and Northern Kentucky University. The top twenty percent of competitors in each discipline advanced to the Semi-Finals, which were held at the Aronoff Center on February 10- 11.

Now in its twenty-first year, The Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation (now Duke Energy) and Leadership Cincinnati (a program of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce). The Overture Awards is funded and administered by the Cincinnati Arts Association, which operates and manages the Aronoff Center and Music Hall. The Overture Awards also relies on hundreds of volunteers from the community who help raise funds, adjudicate and manage the competitions, and nurture the program.

The Overture Awards are endowed by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Overture Awards Presenting Sponsors:  TriHealth; The Eleanora C.U. Alms Trust, Fifth Third Bank, Trustee; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.; Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.

Scholarship Sponsors:  Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Douglas Beal, Bonita Brockert, Cincinnati Ballroom Company, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom,  Summerfair Cincinnati, Josh Tilford, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation

Competition Sponsors:  Mount Saint Joseph University, Northern Kentucky School of Music of Immanuel UMC, Northern Kentucky University

Printing Sponsor:  Crest Graphics

The 2017 Overture Awards Finalists
Winners listed in bold.

CREATIVE WRITING

  • Presley Hargis – grade 12, Conner High School
  • Hallie Menkhaus – grade 11, Taylor High School
  • Olivia Short – grade 12, Mother of Mercy High School
  • Jessica Sommerville – grade 12, William Mason High School

DANCE

  • Joseph Harrington – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts/Just Off Broadway
  • Annika Hsi – grade 10, Walnut Hills High School/Northern Cincinnati Youth Ballet
  • Anna Robertson – grade 12, Bellbrook High School/McGing Irish Dancers
  • Ava Sine – grade 9, School for Creative & Performing Arts/Just Off Broadway

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

  • Cory Bargemann – grade 12, Walnut Hills High School
  • Calvin Huang – grade 11, St. Xavier High School/Inna Terekhov
  • Christina Nam – grade 9, Walnut Hills High School
  • Jiin Woo – grade 11, Sycamore High School

THEATER

  • Elsa Benson – grade 12, Sycamore High School/Karl Resnik Studio
  • Anthony Frederickson – grade 9, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy/McCready Voice Studio
  • Chandler Hoffert – grade 12, Fairfield High School/McCready Voice Studio
  • Morgan Reece – grade 12, Kings High School/Lincoln Chapman Studio

VISUAL ART

  • Ava Grannan – grade 12, Wyoming High School
  • Madyson Haynes – grade 12, Dixie Heights High School
  • Geneva Huffman – grade 10, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Sarah Kenkel – grade 12, Mother of Mercy High School

VOCAL MUSIC

  • Taylor Kay Baer – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts /Wyant-Zenni
  • Reed Gnepper – grade 10, School for Creative & Performing Arts/Mary Ann Powers-Buyukisik
  • Katherine Sharp – grade 12, Indian Hill High School/The Music House (Anne Moss)
  • Nathaniel Wilkens – grade 12, St. Xavier High School/Melody Wallace Voice Studio

2017 Arts educator award Finalists

Susan Jung, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy
Discipline: Theater
Nominated by Carter Jackson

Marion Peraza de Webb, Peraza Music Workshop
Discipline: Instrumental Music
Nominated by Beatrice Baker

2017 Arts Educator Award Honorable Mentions

Hitomi Koyama, UC-CCM Preparatory Department
Discipline: Instrumental Music
Nominated by Chisato Fuji

Melody Wallace, Wallace Voice Studio
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by Anna Greco

Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of two of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies. Since the inception of its acclaimed arts education programs in 1995, CAA has reached more than 1.5 million students.

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