CAA Announces 2022 Overture Award Winners

CAA_Overture Awards$38,000 Awarded for Excellence in the Arts

Arts Educator Award Winners Also Announced

CINCINNATI, OH – The Cincinnati Arts Association is pleased to announce the winners of its Overture Awards Competition, held on Saturday, March 12, 2022 at the Aronoff Center’s Jarson-Kaplan Theater, and the winner of its Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction. The competition awarded $3,000 to six area students for education and training, $1,000 each to the 18 runners-up, and $1,000 each to two Arts Educator Award winners.

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 and/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 winners are selected by a panel of judges who are arts professionals.

2022 OVERTURE AWARDS WINNERS

CREATIVE WRITING: Eliza O’Keefe, grade 11, Walnut Hills High School
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Eliza is a junior at Walnut Hills High School. Her work has been recognized by YoungArts and the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. She is an editor at Polyphony Lit and has attended the Sewanee Young Writers’ Conference.

DANCE: Karley Burdick, grade 12, West Clermont High School / Studies with Just Off Broadway 
HOMETOWN: Batavia, OH – Karley is a member of Just Off Broadway’s national award-winning convention and competition team. She has received numerous competition awards and scholarships, and also teaches. While at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, she performed lead roles and solos in numerous productions, including The Nutcracker and Alice in Wonderland. Karley intends to pursue a BFA in dance.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: Ari Webb, grade 11, Wyoming High School / Studies with Alan Rafferty
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Ari is a 16-year-old Venezuelan-American cellist. In 2021, he won the State of Ohio Buckeye Auditions and was selected to perform in the NPR radio show From the Top in a performance with artists Tessa Lark and Peter Dugan. Ari is a winner of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and will perform with the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra in the Spring of 2022.

THEATER: Payton Hines, grade 12, Sycamore High School / Studies with Karl Resnik
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Payton is a senior at Sycamore High School. For her final season, she will play Elle Woods in Legally Blonde: The Musical this April. Outside of school, she trains with Lachey Arts, Karl Resnik, and CCM’s Musical Theatre Intensive (MTI). Payton plans to get her BFA in Musical Theatre. She is incredibly thankful for her Cincinnati arts community, her family, Lea and Drew Lachey, Mr. Whapham, and Karl Resnik.

VISUAL ART: Emma Wang, grade 12, Ursuline Academy
HOMETOWN: Mason, OH – Emma has had a passion for art ever since she could hold a pencil. She specializes in sculpture and fashion, although her favorite part about being an artist is experimenting with a broad range of art forms. Her other hobbies include playing the violin and Chinese violin and long-distance running.

VOCAL MUSIC: Ella Vaughn, grade 11, Walnut Hills High School / Studies with Musical Arts Center
HOMETOWN: Cincinnati, OH – Ella’s earliest memories include singing and performing. She has a passion for music, participates in musical theater at her school, studies voice with Karl Resnik at the Musical Arts Center, and is in the Young Artist Preparatory Program for opera training. She loves to sing and plans to study music in college, majoring in vocal performance.

2022 ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD WINNERS

Beth LeBlanc, Sycamore High School
Discipline: Creative Writing
Nominated by Deeya Prakash

Tricia Sundbeck, College Conservatory of Music – Dance Prep (UC)
Discipline: Dance
Nominated by Vivi Guemez

The Overture Awards Regional Competitions were held virtually in January 2022. The top thirty percent of competitors in each discipline advanced to the Semi-Finals, which were held virtually in February 2022.

Now in its twenty-sixth year, The Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation (now Duke Energy) and Leadership Cincinnati (a program of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. 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; Summerfair Cincinnati

Scholarship Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Douglas Beal, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Maura Garuccio, Jozsef Parragh, Punky’s Pixels, Summerfair Cincinnati, Josh Tilford, Western & Southern Financial Fund, The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation

Printing Sponsor: Graphic Village

THE 2022 OVERTURE AWARDS FINALISTS
Winners listed in bold.

CREATIVE WRITING

  • Charlotte Hagen, grade 11, Mariemont High School
  • Nkemdilim (Anna Rose) Matu, grade 10, William Mason High School
  • Eliza O’Keefe, grade 11, Walnut Hills High School
  • Deeya Prakash, grade 12, Sycamore High School

DANCE

  • Karley Burdick, grade 12, West Clermont High School, studies with Just Off Broadway
  • Ava Cassidy, grade 11, School for Creative and Performing Arts, studies with Just Off Broadway
  • Braylan Enscoe, grade 12, William Mason High School, studies with Just Off Broadway
  • Neha Gunda, grade 12, Laurel Springs High School, studies with Cultural Centre of India

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

  • Christy Kim, grade 10, William Mason High School
  • Grace Kim, grade 9, William Mason High School, studies with Randolph Bowman
  • Ari Webb, grade 11, Wyoming High School, studies with Alan Rafferty
  • Keliang Yao, grade 9, Seven Hills School, studies with Soyeon Kate Lee

THEATER

  • Claire Dillon, grade 11, Sycamore High School, studies with Melody Wallace
  • Payton Hines, grade 12, Sycamore High School, studies with Karl Resnik
  • Joseph Kayne, grade 11, Indian Hill High School, studies with Kathy Cammett
  • Sophia Trefz, grade 11, School for Creative and Performing Arts

VISUAL ART

  • Brianna Birkle, grade 12, Mercy Mcauley High School
  • Emma Olszewski, grade 12, Ursuline Academy
  • Marshall Shorten, grade 11, Oak Hills High School
  • Emma Wang, grade 12, Ursuline Academy

VOCAL MUSIC

  • Sela Foster, grade 11, The Foster Academy (Homeschool), studies with Kelly McKenzie-Thurley
  • Claire Hardek, grade 12, Indian Hill High School, studies with Dr. Kimberly Buczek
  • Luke Randazzo, grade 12, School for Creative and Performing Arts, studies with Kathy Cammett
  • Ella Vaughn, grade 11, Walnut Hills High School, studies with Musical Arts Center

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 1.9 million students.

CAA is proud to be a member of Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Greater Cincinnati Alliance for Arts Education, Cincinnati USA Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Cincinnati Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky African

American Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, and Performing Arts Center Consortium.

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