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HVCHS students finish their final projects for Performing Arts Academy

Performing Arts Academy students perform their final project in the new Black Box Theatre at Hopewell Valley Central High School.

Twenty-one students from the Performing Arts Academy completed their final projects in the new Black Box Theatre at Hopewell Valley Central High School.

This was the first time that students within the program had been able to perform a live recital and the premiere of the new performance space, according to a press release.

The Performing Arts Academy provides a three-year arts experience for emerging artists who possess exceptional talent and drive in the performing arts. The academy is a place where serious students have access to a skilled faculty, like-minded peers, and a creative space to develop their artistry, according to the statement.

The Performing Arts Academy offers students the option to pursue one of five different tracks: dance, theater arts, band (woodwind, brass, percussion, electric or acoustic guitar, electric or upright bass/drum set, vocal music, and orchestra (all orchestral stringed instruments).

Thespian Troupe 7964 received numerous New Jersey State Thespian Festival honors. Receiving superior medals for their events were Frankie Bancroft and Payton Tharp for solo musical theater, Sophia Parsons for contrasting monologues, Elliot Block and Piper Ward for duet musical theater, and Ella Williams and Rachel Thornton for their short film.

Ella and Rachel were also awarded a New Jersey Governor’s Award for their film, according to the statement.

Elliot and Piper’s duet was selected as one of four pieces in the festival to be featured in the showcase.

A record-breaking 12 Foxy Award nominations were announced for the fall play, “Much Ado About Nothing.”

The production of “Big Fish” also nominated for 10 Paper Mill Rising Star awards, including Best Overall Production; Best Actor, Elliott Block; Best Actress, Piper Ward; Director, Katie Rochon; Best Chorus; Best Orchestra; Best Music Direction; Best Choreography; Best Lighting; and Best Costuming, according to the statement.

The Color Guard was named SRAA Champions. The Hopewell Valley Indoor Color Guard performed at the MAIN (Mid Atlantic Indoor Network) Championships at the PPL Arena in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The Color Guard finished in first place, earning the first championship in the indoor program’s history.

The Symphonic Band earned a Silver Rating. On March 23, the Symphonic Band performed at the CJMEA (Central Jersey Music Educators Association) Concert Band Festival.

Roxbury Invitational Festival Results: March 26, the HVCHS Choir program competed against choirs from eight other schools in jazz and classical music. The results were: Grace Lee, Honorable Mention Outstanding Soloist; Elliott Block, Runner Up Soloist; Vox Central Jazz: Silver Rating; Chamber Singers: Gold rating; and Classical Choir Grand Champions.

Region II Jazz Choir sophomore Samanvita Kamath was accepted into the NJAJE Region II Honors Jazz Choir.

Members of Vox Central Jazz performed at the New Jersey State Vocal Jazz Festival on April 28 and received a rating of Gold; four out of four years they have earned this rating, according to the statement. Additional awards were: Outstanding Alto Section for Emma Ababa, Aya Nestle, May Hartog, Janya Arunkumar, Kelly Thomas and Jeri Nestle; and an Outstanding Soloist Award for Elliot Block. Vox is the auditioned jazz choir at CHS.

In orchestra, Erin Goldsmith, HVCHS Orchestra String Bass, was accepted into the Region II Orchestra and to the All State Orchestra. She will audition for Nationals in June.

Orchestra students who applied for the CJMEA Honors Orchestra are Benjamin Ault, Lena Ondreyka, Emmanuelle Ababa, Irina Cowles, Josephine Blankstein, Joontae Hwang and Franklin Wang.

Chamber Orchestra and soloists, Franklin Wang and Irina Cowles, competed at the Mercer County Teen Arts Festival on May 6. All county winners will advance to the State Competition at Middlesex County College in Edison.

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