A near capacity crowd gathered at the Benedum Center as Pittsburgh CLO and the University of Pittsburgh honored Allegheny County's finest high school performers at the 22nd Annual Pittsburgh CLO Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theateron Saturday, May 26, 2012.
Named for legendary performer and Pittsburgh native Gene Kelly, the annual celebration emphasizes the importance of arts education and recognizes the time, energy and dedication that local high schools devote to their musical productions each spring.
Patterned after the Tony Awards, the ceremony included live performances by the Best Musical nominees along with the Best Actor/Actress nominees. Each nominated school performed a five-minute selection from their respective shows. Special guest presenters included local television personalities and Gene Kelly's widow, Patricia Ward Kelly.
Pittsburgh CLO congratulates the 2012 Gene Kelly Awards winners, nominees and the following 32 participating Allegheny County high schools: Avonworth, Baldwin, Bishop Canevin, Central Catholic, Chartiers Valley, Deer Lakes, Elizabeth Forward, Hampton Township, Keystone Oaks, McKeesport, Moon, North Catholic, North Hills, Northgate, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Penn Hills, Pine-Richland, Pittsburgh Allderdice, Pittsburgh Barack Obama Academy, Pittsburgh Brashear, Pittsburgh CAPA, Pittsburgh Perry, Plum, Quaker Valley, Riverview, St. Joseph, Serra Catholic, Springdale, West Allegheny, West Mifflin, Winchester Thurston and Woodland Hills.
The Charles Gray Award for Special Achievement in Arts Education was also presented to West Allegheny Middle School, in recognition of its enduring commitment to arts education by establishing diverse creative arts modules within their curriculum. Together, technology and literacy coaches actively participate in developing arts education.
Earlier in the evening at a special reception, Pittsburgh CLO presented two Distinguished Alumni Awards. These awards were established this year to recognize past Gene Kelly Awards participants who have gone on to successful careers in both the performing arts and other industries. The awards were presented to Broadway veteran, Michael McGurk and Chief of Staff for the Office of the Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, Yarone Zober.
This year, Pittsburgh CLO awarded over $87,000 in scholarships to several college-bound seniors at the ceremony.
Joe McGoldrick, representing Point Park University's Musical Theater Department, presented Adrianne Knappand Brandon Martin with a $5,000 per year, four-year scholarship to attend Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts for musical theater.
Pittsburgh CLO awarded Gene Kelly Cash Scholarships totaling $10,000 were presented to two high school seniors who have applied and been accepted to a school for the performing or technical arts. This year's recipients are Elizabeth Faux and Zander Lyons. These merit-based scholarships are made possible through the generous donations of Paul Block, Virginia Nicklas, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Leslie Kerr and Drew Birns Creative Arts Scholarship.
The Pittsburgh CLO Ambassadors awarded $5,000 in scholarships to two college-bound students who will be pursuing a major outside of the arts. The 2012 Ambassadors' Scholarship winners were Hannah Devlin and David Kline.
The Pittsburgh CLO Guild awarded $4,000 scholarships to eight students who are pursuing a college education in the theater arts. The Guild presented scholarships in the name of Constance T. Rockwell and the Charity Randall Foundation to Tyler Harper, Alyssa Abraham, Gabrielle Bricker, Zander Lyons, Olivia Meyer, Savannah Spratt, Alexa Anderson and Rebecca Love.