For more than two decades, New World School of the Arts has dazzled Miami with Rising Stars, its signature showcase of young talent in the performing and visual arts. This year though, it outdid itself, with a sold-out Gusman Center for the Performing Arts smash presentation that led to an evening brimming in standing ovations, raving reviews, glamour and glitz.
More than an education in the performing arts, students of the 8 year high school/college program at New World School of the Arts are being taught to expertly design, paint, dance, sing, act, perform… and especially to explore and express their innate talents. The evening of Friday, March 14th was the culmination of their hard work and offered the students a unique opportunity to showcase their passions. Starting at 5:00 PM, the New World Gallery filled with patrons, called upon to admire the full breadth of creativity that adorned the walls and floors and filled the room with enchantment. With an exclusive selection of eighteen paintings, drawings and installations…some larger than life…guests rejoiced, engrossed in the welcoming reverence that poetically foreshadowed the upcoming curtain call.
A block away at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts over 210 students, sore and excited from weeks of rehearsals and butterflies-in-the-stomach anticipation, shared nervous smiles to the expectant applause of a sold out show. They could not and they would not disappoint. The carefully orchestrated program opened with the exhilarating Magic To Do number from the musical Pippin, followed by the exquisitely performed ballet Diversion of Angels, by world renowned choreographer Martha Graham. A reverberating rendition of Carmina Burana by Carl Orff impeccably fused the music of 150 virtuosos who delivered a flawless climax, bringing the clamoring full house to its feet for a five-minute standing ovation.
With the intoxicating rhythms of Groove Merchant performed by the NWSA Jazz Band, and animated delivery of Symphony No. 5 in D Minor by the NWSA High School Wind Ensemble, the second Act was every bit as invigorating. Music Theater senior Lindsey Forgey teased baffled spectators throughout the two-hour presentation with her delivery of Nothin’ To Lose, a humorous three-part monologue with an unexpected ending, while Xclusive, the conservatory’s high school barbershop quartet managed to rip laughter and unstoppable clapping from the 1600 elated guests. Another round of loud appreciation shook the walls of the Gusman as NWSA Provost Mercedes Quiroga and high school Principal Frederic Conde took center (claiming to be the new presidential ticket!) and along with the conservatory’s four exceptional deans extended a special recognition to its guiding star, Bank of America, for an unwavering 20 years of support, dedication and generosity. Yara Martinez, recipient of the 2008 NWSA Alumnus of the Year award was also acknowledged for her extraordinary flourishing career in theater, through she could not attend, having just been cast for a lead in the television hit E.R!
The merriment continued across the street at the historic Alfred I DuPont building where more than 300 guests enjoyed an elegant evening among arts patrons, supporters, visionaries and sponsors in celebration of this year’s Rising Stars. Four-members of NWSA’s Jazz Ensemble proved to be a winning entertainment choice as guests gathered to listen or stroll around the marbled venue socializing and bidding on exclusive silent auction items.
Sumptuous food stations and delicate center pieces adorned the venue giving the night an air of a grand old-time Art Deco Miami ball. Among the luminaries who shared in the evening was NWSA Foundation Board Co-Chairs Abbey Chase and Maria Alonso, NWSA Executive Board Chair John Schmitz and Co-Chair Monty Trainer, alongside many other board members and friends of NWSA. MDC Wolfson Campus President Rolando Montoya and NWSA Provost Quiroga took the opportunity to share their hopes and vision for the famed school in front of the television cameras and sung the praises of their students during the anticipated annual Once a Year Day.
Please join us at next year’s Rising Stars Exhibition, Performance and Gala. We look forward to your participation and support. For sponsorship opportunities and/or contributions please call New World School of the Arts at 305-237-3753.