Tag Archives: Overture Awards

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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Cincinnati Arts Association Announces DANCING FOR THE STARS 2019 Winners

CAA_Dancing for the Stars

Halle Quinn and Dance Pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean
Crowned New Dancing for the Stars Champs

Michael Betz honored as Fundraising Champion

CINCINNATI, OH – Halle Quinn (Community Volunteer) and her dance pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean (Phoenix Rising Ballroom) received a perfect score of 40, taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s thirteenth-annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, April 13 at the Music Hall Ballroom. Michael Betz (Senior Brand Manager, Strategic Brand Marketing, Gannett, Cincinnati Enquirer) took home the Fundraising Champion Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations.

Rhonda Whitaker (Vice President, Community Relations, Ohio & Kentucky, Duke Energy) and Josh Tilford (Independent Dance Instructor) took second place, and Jeff Thomas (Owner/President, Jeff Thomas Catering) and Bonita Brockert (Independent Dance Instructor) placed third.

The sold-out event welcomed 600 guests. As CAA’s largest annual fundraiser, it raised more than $105,000 in support of the organization’s acclaimed arts education programs, including the Overture Awards – the nation’s largest locally-run high school arts scholarship competition. 

Dancing for the Stars’ silent auction went online one week prior to the event to allow fans and supporters to participate whether or not they were able to attend the fundraiser. The auction raised more than $20,000.  

The remaining three dance pairs included:

  • Michael Betz (Senior Brand Manager, Strategic Brand Marketing,  Gannett, Cincinnati Enquirer) and Doreen Beatrice (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Heidi DeJonckheere (Dental  Hygienist, Eastgate Dental Excellence) and Brandon Etheridge (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Phil Gill (General Sales Manager, Tom Gill Chevrolet) and Desiree Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
  • Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney (President & CEO, Sesh Communications) and Jozsef Parragh (Independent Dance Instructor)

Inspired by the hit ABC-TV show Dancing with the StarsDancing for the Stars 2019 featured seven Cincinnati celebrities paired with some of the area’s finest professional dancers in a competition program, at which the audience vote and judges scores propelled the winners to victory. The competitive dance for the evening was the Cha Cha, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges.

Event emcees were Chris O’Brien and Janeen Coyle (“Married with Microphones,” 103.5 WGRR-FM). The four competition judges were Douglas Beal (Independent Dance Instructor), Barbara Hauser (2015 Dancing for the Stars Alum; Manager, Ohio Government & Community Relations, Procter & Gamble), Pam Kravetz (2018 Dancing for the Stars Third-Place Winner; Nationally-Recognized Artist, Arts Educator, and Project Manager for ArtWorks), Steve Valerius (2018 Dancing for the Stars Alum; President Individual Division, Ameritas Life Insurance).

Currently in its thirteenth year, Dancing for the Stars has become one of the most-anticipated (and imitated) fundraising events of the season.  Since the event’s debut in 2007, nearly 100 local notables have ‘danced for a cause’. The impressive list of past champions includes:  2007 – Dr. O’dell Owens (former president, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; former Hamilton County coroner); 2008 – Jenell Walton (former WLWT-TV5 reporter; former reporter, The List; former WCPO-TV9 anchor and reporter); 2009 – Phil Schworer (attorney, Frost Brown Todd; former president, Cincinnati Bar Association); 2010 – Donna Speigel (owner, The Snooty Fox); 2011 – Dr. Tracey Skale, M.D. (chief medical officer, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral  Health Services), 2012 –  Regina Russo (former chief of communications, Contemporary Arts Center; former director of marketing and communications, Cincinnati Art Museum; former anchor/reporter, WXIX-TV19), 2013 – Chris Seelbach (Cincinnati City Councilman), 2014 – Neal Schulte (founder & president, Schulte Financial Group, LLC), 2015 – Johnny Chu (owner, KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia restaurant),  2016 – Jay Lame (financial analyst, Lenox Wealth Management), 2017 – Rohan Hemani (Procter & Gamble Fabric Care intrapenuer), and 2018 – Dr. Marcia Bowling (Gynecologic Oncology, The Christ Hospital Network).

In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2019 featured:

  • Dinner-by-the-bite provided by A Catered Affair, Alfio’s buon cibo, CMX CineBistro, Eddie Merlot, First Watch, Garnish Catering, Jeff Thomas Catering, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Oriental Wok, Prime Cincinnati, Skyline Chili, Street City Pub, Vonderhaar’s Catering, Whole Foods Market
  • Popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality Rockin’ Ron Schumacher
  • Pre-event wine tasting compliments of Biltmore Estate Winery and meet-and-greet with the stars
  • Open dancing before and after the competition

Event highlights included:

  • Entertaining and amazing exhibition dances by Dancing for the Stars talented pros.
  • An athletic, awe-inspiring cabaret-style dance filled with impressive lifts and spins, performed by champion dance-pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean and his fiancé Maria Wheeler. The exhibition dance received a standing ovation from the cheering crowd.
  • An inspiring video about the Overture Awards featuring interviews with the six student winners of this year’s Overture Awards finals competition.
  • Two big screens that featured live video of the competition and engaging video introductions of the stars and pros (interviews and rehearsal footage) before their dances.
  • Humorous, astute, and supportive comments from the Dancing for the Stars panel of judges.
  • Exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience reactions, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages in support of their favorite Stars.
  • The evening’s champs – former figure skater Halle Quinn and her muscular dance pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean – earned the night’s only perfect score of 40 with a routine that included breathtaking lifts and spins, danced to the song “Bla Bla Bla Bla Cha Cha Cha.”
  • Wearing one of the most stunning sequined dresses of the evening, second-place finisher Rhonda Whitaker brought a fun contemporary approach to the Cha Cha with her pro Josh Tilford, danced to the popular and upbeat song “Uptown Funk.”
  • Third-place finisher Jeff Thomas played a lifeguard in a red t-shirt with an eye for the girl in the polka-dot swimsuit in a charming dance to the classic song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.”
  • Fundraising Champ Michael Betz showed off his best Freddy Mercury moves with pro Doreen Beatrice to a rousing medley of the rock group Queen’s greatest hits.
  • Phil Gill parodied his local Tom Gill Chevrolet TV commercials with this Dad Tom, who was on stage giving his son advice on how to meet a girl (his perky pro Desiree Mainous– by dancing her into his big (toy) car!  Phil and Desiree performed to, of course, the song “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.”
  • A second “Uptown Funk” Cha-Cha featured Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney, who channeled her inner Tina Turner in a bright-red fringe dress and an ear-to-ear smile during her dance with pro Jozsef Parragh, sporting bright red shoes to match Jan’s dress.
  • Heidi DeJonckheere did the Queen City proud with a fun and energized Cha-Cha with dance pro Brandon Etheridge to a mash up of Cincinnatian Rosemary Clooney’s hit “Sway” and the electronic dance mix “(Mucho Mambo) Sway.”

Presenting Sponsor: TriHealth 

Silent Auction Sponsors: Graphic Village, Lenox Wealth Management, Paolo A Modern Jeweler, WOW Windowboxes 

Event Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Brandon Etheridge, Graphic Village, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Phoenix Rising Ballroom, Josh Tilford

Libations Sponsors:  Biltmore Estate Wines, Heidelberg Distributing, Pepsi 

Event Committee:  Amal Daoud, Terry Foster, Sue Gilkey, Jim Howland, Ginger Loftin, Rosemary Schlachter, Phil Schworer, Tracey Skale

CAA’s OVERTURE AWARDS AND ARTS EDUCTION PROGRAMS
Cincinnati Arts Association’s Education & Community Engagement programs promote life-long participation in the arts, while contributing to individual, organizational, and community success. With a mission to educate, inspire, and engage the Tri-state region, these accessible arts programs ignite the imagination of students of all ages.

The Overture Awards is one of several programs ‒ which also include Artists on Tour, SchoolTime, Emerging Arts Leaders, and more ‒ that have served more than 1.6 million children and adults since the inception of CAA’s Education & Community Engagement programs two decades ago. CAA is proud of its newest initiative, Arts in Healing, which promotes wellness through the arts.

The Overture Awards – the largest locally-run, high school arts scholarship competition in the country – recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12. It also provides students an opportunity to share their talents and interests among their peers in a supportive environment outside of their individual schools. Each year, more than 450 students are nominated by their schools to compete, and this year’s competition awarded $42,000 in scholarships for excellence in Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. To date, the Overture Awards has awarded $750,000 to support artistically-talented students in pursuit of their dreams. Now in its 22nd year, the Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation and Leadership Cincinnati (a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber program).

As part of the Overture Awards, the Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout the Tri-state region – just one more way to encourage quality arts in Cincinnati USA!

For more information about CAA’s Education & Community Engagement programs, visit www.cincinnatiarts.org/education-community.

CINCINNATI ARTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management 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.

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CAA Announces 2019 Overture Award Winners

CAA_Overture Awards$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 9, 2019 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 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 finalists and winner are selected by a panel of judges who are arts professionals.

2019 OVERTURE AWARD WINNERS

CREATIVE WRITING: Maura O’Dea – grade 12, Ursuline Academy
HOMETOWN: Blue Ash, OH – Maura spends her time working backstage as a stage manager, editing the creative writing section of the newspaper, and running the writing club she co-founded. Maura’s plans for the future include pursuing an English degree and publishing something beautiful one day.

DANCE: Jordan Slemons – grade 12, Anderson High School / Just Off Broadway
HOMETOWN: Anderson, OH – Jordan has been dancing for fifteen years at Just Off Broadway. She couldn’t be happier to have been given this amazing opportunity to be a an Overture Awards finalist. She wants to thank her family, teachers, and friends for always supporting her.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC: Simon Bakos – grade 11, William Mason High School / DCG Studio
HOMETOWN: Mason, OH – Simon has been studying clarinet and bass clarinet for the past five years. He currently participates in the clarinet section of the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra. He was principal clarinet in the 2019 Ohio All-State Orchestra, and has performed with the William Mason Wind Symphony at the Midwest Clinic. He enjoys performing with his high school marching band, and looks forward to enjoying and supporting music in the future.

THEATER: Jonah Sorscher – grade 11, Indian Hill High School / Musical Arts Center
HOMETOWN: Camp Dennison, OH – Jonah is thrilled to perform at the Overture Awards! Besides performing, he loves to write his own theater, producing an original musical, Alibi, this summer. He thanks the Cincinnati Actor’s Studio & Academy, Musical Arts Center, Becky Childs, and his family and friends for their love and support.

VISUAL ART: Alyson Power – grade 12, Lakota West High School
HOMETOWN: West Chester, OH – Alyson’s mother, an art teacher, introduced her to art very early. Alyson has explored art her whole life. She will be majoring in Fine Art at either Miami or Ohio University. She’s won twenty Scholastic Art awards, including one National Medal, five Governor’s Art Awards, and has displayed work at The Xavier Juried Exhibition.

VOCAL MUSIC: Lauren Maynus – grade 12, Ursuline Academy / Alison Acord
HOMETOWN: Amberly Village, OH – Lauren studies voice with Dr. Alison Acord, is a section leader with the Pleasant Ridge Presbyterian Church choir under the direction of Dr. Tom Merrill, is on the Student Board at TX, and is honored to participate in the Overture Awards Finals again this year! Lauren has been selected for the Met’s High School Opera Singer Intensive program this winter, will attend Schmidt Vocal Institute this summer, and plans to study Vocal Performance in the Fall.

2019 ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD WINNER

Benita Tse- Leung, Leung Studio
Discipline: Piano
Nominated by Jenny Hu

The Overture Awards Regional Competitions were held on January 26 at the Immanuel School of Music, Northern Kentucky University, and Mount Saint Joseph University. The top twenty percent of competitors in each discipline advanced to the Semi-Finals, which were held at the Aronoff Center on February 7-9.

Now in its twenty-third 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; Doreen Beatrice; Douglas Beal; Bonita Brockert; Brandon Etheridge; Jozsef Parragh; Pebble Creek Group; Phoenix Rising Ballroom; Summerfair Cincinnati; Josh Tilford; Western & Southern Financial Fund; The William O. Purdy, Jr. Foundation

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

Printing Sponsor: Graphic Village

THE 2019 OVERTURE AWARDS FINALISTS
Winners listed in bold 

CREATIVE WRITING

  • Sam Bowden – grade 11, Wyoming High School
  • Iris LeCates – grade 11, Walnut Hills High School
  • Maura O’Dea – grade 12, Ursuline Academy
  • Molly Tierney – grade 12, Beechwood High School 

DANCE

  • Krupa Hegde – grade 10, Larry A. Ryle High School  / Cultural Centre of India
  • Hanna Hopple – grade 12, Saint  Ursula Academy / McGing Irish Dancers
  • Ava Sine – grade 11, School for Creative & Performing Arts / Just Off Broadway
  • Jordan Slemons – grade 12, Anderson High School / Just Off Broadway

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC  

  • Simon Bakos – grade 11, William Mason High School / DCG Studio
  • Liam Hedrick – grade 12, Homeschool / UC-CCM Preparatory
  • Kasey M. Shao – grade 10, Walnut Hills High School / CCM
  • Andrew Yang – grade 10, Seven Hills School / CCM 

THEATER  

  • Eleanor Donnelly  – grade 12, Wyoming High School / Bill Seale
  • Jake Jervis – grade 10, Sycamore High School / McCready Voice Studio
  • Maxwell Metsch  – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts / Lincoln Chapman Studio
  • Jonah Sorscher – grade 11, Indian Hill High School / Musical Arts Center 

VISUAL ART  

  • Geneva Huffman – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Alyson Power – grade 12, Lakota West High School
  • Trey Small – grade 12, Lakota West High School
  • Grace Vanderwoude – grade 12, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

VOCAL MUSIC  

  • Reed Gnepper – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts / UC-CCM Preparatory
  • Amy Helms – grade 12, Kings High School / Musical Arts Center
  • Sarah Koopman – grade 12, Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy / Karl Resnik Studio
  • Lauren Maynus – grade 12, Ursuline Academy / Alison Acord

 

2019 ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD FINALISTS
Winner listed in bold

Lincoln Chapman, Private Teacher
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by: Maxwell Metsch 

Catherine Keen, The Keen Voice Studio
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by: Grace Caccavari

Benita Tse-Leung, Leung Studio
Discipline: Piano
Nominated by: Jenny Hu

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 1.7 million students. 

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DANCING FOR THE STARS 2018 – Winners Announced

Dr. Marcia Bowling
and Dance Pro Jozsef Parragh
Crowned New Dancing for the Stars Champs

Bowling also named ‘Fundraising Champion’

CAA_Dancing for the StarsCINCINNATI, OH – Dr. Marcia Bowling (Gynecologic Oncology, The Christ Hospital Network) and her dance pro Jozsef Parragh (Independent Dance Instructor) received a near-perfect score of 37 (out of 40), taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s twelfth-annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, April 14, at the Music Hall Ballroom. Bowling also took home the ‘Fundraising Champion’ Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations.

Pam Kravetz (nationally-recognized artist, arts educator, and Project Manager for ArtWorks) and Alyenendrov Tsorokean (Dance Instructor; Owner, Phoenix Rising Latin & Ballroom) took second place; and John J. Williams (Attorney; President, Cincinnati Bar Association) and Doreen Beatrice (Independent Dance Instructor)  placed third.

The sold-out event welcomed more than 675 guests.  As CAA’s largest annual fundraiser, it raised $125,000 in support of the organization’s acclaimed arts education programs, including the Overture Awards – the nation’s largest locally-run high school arts scholarship competition. 

Dancing for the Stars’ online auction went live two weeks prior to the event to allow fans and supporters to participate whether or not they were at the fundraiser, and bidding at the event was done using smart phones. This new digital approach resulted in the most successful auction in the event’s twelve-year history, raising nearly $30,000.   

The remaining three dance pairs included:

  • Ryan Messer (Regional Business Director, Johnson & Johnson; Board Member, Cincinnati Public Schools) and Desiree Mainous (Dance Instructor; Owner, Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
  • Dr. Renu Kotwal (Psychiatry & Neurology, The Christ Hospital Network) and Josh Tilford (Dance Instructor; Owner, Dance Manor)
  • Steve Valerius (President Individual Division, Ameritas Life Insurance) and  Leigh Bradshaw (Dance Instructor; Co-owner, Cincinnati Ballroom Company)

Inspired by the hit ABC-TV show Dancing with the StarsDancing for the Stars 2018 featured six Cincinnati celebrities paired with some of the area’s finest professional dancers in a competition program, at which the audience vote and judges scores propelled the winners to victory. The competitive dance for the evening was Swing, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges.

Event emcees were Chris O’Brien and Janeen Coyle (“Married with Microphones,” 103.5 WGRR-FM). The four competition judges were Douglas Beal (Independent Dance Instructor), Bonita Brockert (Independent Dance Instructor), Jeremy Mainous (Dance Instructor; Owner, Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati), and Neal Schulte (2014 Dancing for the Stars Winner & Fundraising Champion; Founder & President, Schulte Financial Group, LLC.)

Currently in its twelfth year, Dancing for the Stars has become one of the most-anticipated (and imitated) fundraising events of the season.  Since the event’s debut in 2007, nearly 90 local notables have ‘danced for a cause’. The impressive list of past champions includes:  2007 – Dr. O’dell Owens (former president, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; former Hamilton County coroner); 2008 – Jenell Walton(former WLWT-TV5 reporter; former reporter, The List; former WCPO-TV9 anchor and reporter); 2009 – Phil Schworer (Attorney, Frost Brown Todd; former president, Cincinnati Bar Association); 2010 – Donna Speigel (owner, The Snooty Fox); 2011 – Dr. Tracey Skale, M.D. (chief medical officer, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral  Health Services), 2012 –  Regina Russo (former chief of communications, Contemporary Arts Center; former director of marketing and communications, Cincinnati Art Museum; former anchor/reporter, WXIX-TV19), 2013 – Chris Seelbach (Cincinnati City Councilman), 2014 – Neal Schulte (founder & president, Schulte Financial Group, LLC), 2015 – Johnny Chu (owner, KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia restaurant),  2016 – Jay Lame (Financial Analyst, Lenox Wealth Management), and 2017 – Rohan Hemani (Procter & Gamble Fabric Care Intrapenuer)

In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2018 featured:

  • Dinner-by-the-bite provided by A Catered Affair, Alfio’s buono cibo, CMX CineBistro, Garnish Catering, Jeff Thomas Catering, Lala’s Blissful Bites, Metropolitan Club, Oriental Wok, Palomino Restaurant & Bar, Prime Cincinnati, Skyline Chili, Stone Creek Dining Company, Vonderhaar’s Catering, Inc., Whole Foods Market
  • Popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality Rockin’ Ron Schumacher
  • Pre-event wine tasting compliments of Biltmore Estate Winery (Music Hall’s newest premium wine) and meet-and-greet with the Stars
  • Open dancing before and after the competition

Event highlights included:

  • Entertaining and amazing exhibition dances by Dancing for the Stars talented Pros.
  • An inspiring video about the Overture Awards featuring interviews with many of the student competitors.
  • Two big screens that featured live video of the competition and engaging video introductions of the Stars and Pros (interviews and rehearsal footage) before their dances.
  • Humorous, astute, and supportive comments from the Dancing for the Stars panel of judges.
  • Exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience reactions, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages in support of their favorite Stars.
  • Dance and fundraising champion, Dr. Marcia Bowling, earned the night’s highest score from the judges with an expert swing routine (and a gorgeous dress) with dance Pro Jozsef Parragh.
  • Audience favorite and 2nd-place finisher Pam Kravetz and dance Pro Alyenendrov Tsorokean danced as Mayzie La Bird and the Cat in the Hat to a whimsical tribute to Dr. Seuss.
  • Third-place finisher John J. Williams showed his swagger and confidence in a Blues Brothers-inspired dance with dance Pro Doreen Beatrice.
  • There was some ‘risky business’ on the dance floor when Steve Valerius danced Tom Cruise-style to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll” with dance Pro Leigh Bradshaw.
  • Ryan Messer, dance Pro Desiree Mainous, and friends danced a timely and touching story about high-school bullying, being yourself, and Gay Pride to “Born This Way” – Lady Gaga’s rousing anthem of individuality.
  • The glamour and fun of Bollywood filled the Music Hall Ballroom as Dr. Renu Kotwal, wearing one of the most beautiful dresses at the event, danced an Indian-inspired Swing with dance Pro Josh Tilford.

Dancing for the Stars 2018 Presenting Sponsor: TriHealth 

Dancing for the Stars 2018 Silent Auction Sponsor: Lenox Wealth Management

Dancing for the Stars 2018 Event Sponsors:  Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Cincinnati Ballroom Company, Crest Graphics, Dance Manor, Pebble Creek Group, Jozsef Parragh, and Phoenix Rising Latin & Ballroom.

Dancing for the Stars 2018 Event Committee:  Dr. Allison Holzapfel, co-chair (Dancing for the Stars 2017 Fundraising Champion); Jamie Humes, co-chair (Dancing for the Stars 2016 Fundraising Champion); Amal Daoud; Terry Foster; Sue Gilkey; Jim Howland; Ginger Loftin; Joe Rigotti; Rosemary Schlachter; Phil Schworer; and Dr. Tracey Skale. 

CAA’s OVERTURE AWARDS AND ARTS EDUCTION PROGRAMS
Cincinnati Arts Association’s Education & Community Relations programs promote life-long engagement in the arts, while contributing to individual, organizational, and community success. With a mission to educate, inspire, and engage the Tri-state region, these accessible arts programs ignite the imagination of students of all ages.

The Overture Awards is one of several programs ‒ which also include Artists on Tour, SchoolTime, Emerging Arts Leaders, and more ‒ that have served more than 1.6 million children and adults since the inception of CAA’s Education & Community Relations programs two decades ago. CAA is proud of its newest initiative, Arts in Healing, that promotes wellness through the arts.

The Overture Awards – the largest locally-run, high school arts scholarship competition in the country – recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-state students in grades 9-12. It also provides students an opportunity to share their talents and interests among their peers in a supportive environment outside of their individual schools. Each year, more than 450 students are nominated by their schools to compete, and this year’s competition awarded $42,000 in scholarships for excellence in Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. To date, the Overture Awards has awarded $750,000 to support artistically-talented students in pursuit of their dreams. Now in its 22nd year, the Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation and Leadership Cincinnati (a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber program).

As part of the Overture Awards, the Arts Educator Award for Excellence in Arts Instruction promotes and rewards excellence in arts instruction throughout the Tri-state region – just one more way to encourage quality arts in Cincinnati USA!

For more information about CAA’s Education & Community Relations programs, visit www.cincinnatiarts.org/education-community. 

CINCINNATI ARTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management 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.

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CAA 2018 Overture Award Winners Announced

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 3, 2018 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 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 finalists and winner are selected by a panel of judges who are arts professionals.

2018 OVERTURE AWARDS WINNERS

CREATIVE WRITING:  Frances Timberlake – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts
HOMETOWN: Clifton, OH – Frances studies Creative Writing at SCPA, where writing became an outgrowth of her love for theater and storytelling. Most recently, Frances was named a National YoungArts Finalist and nominated as a U.S. Presidential Scholar of the Arts, in addition to earning recognition through the National Scholastic Writing Awards.

DANCE:  Drake Phouasavanh – grade 12, Conner High School
HOMETOWN: Florence, KY – Drake is a competitive dancer with the Expressions Dance Theatre Sundancer team and a past Overture Awards Finalist. He trains in all dance genres, attended the 2017 Cincinnati Ballet Summer Intensive on a scholarship, and has performed in multiple musical theatre productions.

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC:  Kash Sewell – grade 12, Beechwood High School
HOMETOWN: Fort Mitchell, KY – Kash has participated in the Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, and Kentucky All-State Bands. He is a well-rounded young man with diverse interests. He practices his saxophone devotedly, not from any sense of obligation, but because of the sheer joy he derives from playing and performing.

THEATER:  Ellie O’Hara – grade 11, Notre Dame Academy High School/Marilyn Zelcer Studio
HOMETOWN: Park Hills, KY  – Since third grade, Ellie has kept true to her dream of becoming a Broadway actress. She studies with both Marilyn Zelcer at Musical Arts Center and Moss Dance Academy. She has played many roles throughout her career, her favorite being Belle in Beauty and the Beast this past summer. Her ambitions are to pursue musical theatre in college and head to the bright lights of New York.

VISUAL ART:  Anne Knellinger – grade 12, Walnut Hills High School
HOMETOWN: Pleasant Ridge, OH – Anne began pursuing her artistic interests at a very young age, and started taking AP Art courses in tenth grade. She has won Gold Keys in the National Scholastic competition. She enjoys volunteering, running cross country, and playing ultimate frisbee with her friends. She plans to pursue a career in design.

VOCAL MUSIC:  Natalie Choo – grade 12, Seven Hills School/Karl Resnik Studio
HOMETOWN: Montgomery, OH – Natalie studies voice with Karl Resnik at the Musical Arts Center and participates in the Young Artists Preparatory Program, directed by Lincoln Chapman. She has attended summer programs at the Curtis Institute of Music and CCM. She was a Finalist at the Schmidt Vocal Competition, Finalist for the 2018 YoungArts National Arts Competition, and recently named a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts.

2018 ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD WINNER

Ka-Ron Lehman, University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music
Discipline: Dance
Nominated by Ndaya Hoskins


 

The Overture Awards Regional Competitions were held on January 20 at the Northern Kentucky School of Music at Immanuel UMC, Northern Kentucky University, and Mount Saint Joseph University. The top 20percent of competitors in each discipline advanced to the Semi-Finals, which were held at the Aronoff Center on February 2- 3.

Now in its twenty-second 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; Summerfair Cincinnati

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

Printing Sponsor:  Graphic Village 

THE 2018 OVERTURE AWARDS FINALISTS
Winners listed in bold.

CREATIVE WRITING

  • Jenna Bao – grade 12, Sycamore High School
  • Hope Neyer – grade 11, Mount Notre Dame High School
  • Frances Timberlake – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Lauren Timmins – grade 12, Loveland High School

DANCE

  • Regan Lawler – grade 12, Erickson Academy of Irish Dance / Summit Country Day School
  • Drake Phouasavanh – grade 12, Conner High School
  • Ava Sine – grade 10, School for Creative & Performing Arts / Just Off Broadway
  • Ryan Sohmer – grade 10, The Studio for Dance / School for Creative & Performing Arts

INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

  • Ione Sally – grade 12, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Kash Sewell – grade 12, Beechwood High School
  • Madeline Wolfe – grade 9, Leung Studio / Ursuline Academy
  • Andrew Yang – grade 9, Seven Hills School / University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music

THEATER

  • Margot Grom-Mansencal – grade 12, McCready Voice Studio / Wyoming High School
  • Maxwell Metsch – grade 11, Lincoln Chapman Studio / School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Ellie O’Hara – grade 11, Marilyn Zelcer Studio / Notre Dame Academy High School
  • Kat Sweeney – grade 10, St. Ursula Academy / Karl Resnik Studio

VISUAL ART

  • Geneva Huffman – grade 11, School for Creative & Performing Arts
  • Anne Knellinger – grade 12, Walnut Hills High School
  • Dominic Pham – grade 11, St. Xavier High School
  • Cynthia Zhang – grade 12, Indian Hill High School

VOCAL MUSIC

  • Natalie Choo – grade 12, Karl Resnik Studio / Seven Hills School
  • Reed Gnepper – grade 11, School for Creative & Performing Arts/ University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory
  • Lauren Maynus – grade 11, Alison Acord / Ursuline Academy
  • Sarah Moser – grade 12, Keen Voice Studio / Campbell County High School

2018 ARTS EDUCATOR AWARD FINALISTS
Winner listed in bold.

Susan Herrick, Voice of Indiana
Discipline: Vocal/Choral Performance
Nominated by Connie Walker

Ka-Ron Lehman, University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music
Discipline: Dance
Nominated by Ndaya Hoskins 

Kathy Louder, Mount Notre Dame High School
Discipline: Creative Writing
Nominated by Cara Wagner

2018 Arts Educator Award Honorable Mentions

Lara Koogler, Calvary Christian School
Discipline: Piano
Nominated by Mitchell Ward

Karl Resnik, The Musical Arts Center
Discipline: Vocal Music
Nominated by Natalie Choo

Bing Yang, Liao Ning Professional Performing Arts School
Discipline: Dance
Nominated by Judi Hu 

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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