DeKalb’s got talent

Hairspray 3

Chamblee, Dunwoody, Decatur and Lakeside high schools have a lot to be proud of in the realm of music and theater following a March 29 announcement from Cobb County’s ArtsBridge Foundation.

Four DeKalb County high school students have been nominated for Georgia High School Music Awards, which honors high school music and theater performances across the state of Georgia.

Chamblee Charter High School student Catherine Willingham has been nominated for a Shuler Orchestra award for her performance in the school’s production of “The Pajama Game,” a musical by George Abbott and Richard Bissell.

Dunwoody High School’s David Gay and Ben Spells have been nominated for Shuler Sound awards for their work on the school’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” a one-act musical by William Finn.

Decatur High School student Anderson McKiernan has been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Shuler Award for his performance as Gaston in the school’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” a French fairytale-turned-Disney-sensation-turned-musical by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Linda Woolverton.

In addition to nominations, DeKalb County is represented well in the honorable mentions category.

Lakeside High School’s Daniel MacNamara received an orchestra honorable mention for his work in “Hairspray,” while Kate Berg received a supporting actress honorable mention for her role as Penny.

Decatur High School had five honorable mentions in addition to its single nomination for “Beauty and the Beast.” Elise Eskew Sparks received a music director and orchestra honorable mention; Amy Rawlins received a choreography nomination; Chris Davis received an honorable mention for scenic design; and Scott Johnson received a leading actor honorable mention for his role as The Beast.

Decatur High School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” in March earned the school one nomination and five honorable mentions for the Georgia High School Music Awards. Photo submitted.

Chamblee’s Adam Leyburn received a supporting actor honorable mention for his role as Hines in “The Pajama Game.”

Similar to the Oscar, Emmy, Grammy or Tony awards, the students will be honored at the Georgia High School Music Award ceremony—also known as the Shuler Hensley Awards—on April 20. The award ceremony will be broadcasted live from 7 to 9 p.m. on nine statewide television networks from the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, according to program officials.

Eleven DeKalb County students—Adrian Waller, Baily Fisher, Chloe Constant, Jonathan Pennie, Katie Fowler, Leah Thomas, Nina Stecker, Paris Ruiz, Joi’Anna Partee, Natalie Carson and Charles Cardot will attend the event to perform in the award ensemble and provide production assistance.

For more information, visit www.artsbridgega.org/programs/shuler-awards.

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