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  PRESS RELEASE

NOVEMBER 2021

FloArts’ Musical Theatre Vocal Company presents free concert, “Back To Broadway”

Musical Theatre Vocal Company

Celebrating the reopening of Broadway after the COVID-19 shutdown, the Florida School of the Arts Musical Theatre Vocal Company will perform a free, one-day concert, “Back To Broadway,” on Sunday, November 21 at 2:30 p.m. The selection of songs to be performed reflects the shows now open on Broadway or scheduled to open in 2022. The concert will take place on the FloArts main stage located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. Doors open at 2:00 p.m. Face masks are encouraged.

Vocal Company, which is a required course for all FloArts musical theatre majors, focuses on the development of the skills necessary to function as a member of a musical theatre ensemble at the professional level, including sight-reading, choral harmonization and choreography. At every stage, the students are pushed to assimilate new material as quickly and accurately as possible and then execute that material at the highest level of which they are capable, which the “Back To Broadway” cast will display through a wide range of musical selections including “Phantom of the Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber; “The Music Man” by Meredith Willson; “Wicked” by Stephen Schwartz; Walt Disney's “Aladdin;” “Dear Evan Hansen” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul; and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical.”

Cast members include Nick Aiello, Eric Barnum, Shelby Brown, Austin Butcher, Tara Cooper, Natalie Drake, Kwabena Flewellyn, Josue Jorge-Rivera,Chelsey Lake, Reid Norris, Maggie Rashaw, Hannah Seyler, Sydney Sheffield and McKayla Whiteside.

“The students in this program receive an incredibly immersive education far beyond simply learning to perform in shows,” said FloArts voice professor and concert director Russell Franks. “We are educating the whole musician and performer here, not just the star, the leading lady, the diva or the divo. The most important element in any staged production, film, concert or musical event is collaboration, and singing in an ensemble like Musical Theater Vocal Company is an excellent way to teach the students the importance and difficulty of intense collaboration,” Franks explained. “Not only do they have to listen for their own part in the music, but they also have to listen to each other and develop understanding of how their part fits into the whole to create unity within the piece.”

Professional development support is also provided to FloArts students who wish to hone their skills as choreographers, staging directors, assistant musical directors and vocal section leaders. Student choreographers include Courtney Burnett and Suzannah Gaston, who have both received the Associate in Science degree in Musical Theatre from FloArts and are currently completing the Associate in Arts degree at SJR State. Additional choreographers are second-year student Kwabena Flewellyn and freshman Sydney Sheffield, who is also the concert’s dance captain. Second-year student McKayla Whiteside is the vocal captain.

FloArts musical theatre alum Mark Anthony Wildman is contributing his choreography talent to the concert. Wildman began his professional career after graduating from FloArts in 2019. His resume includes working for American Stage in Tampa and The Alhambra in Jacksonville.

Bringing a wide range of talent and upbeat energy to the stage, the Musical Theatre Vocal Company invites you to visit FloArts on November 21 to enjoy going “back to Broadway.”

Florida School of the Arts, serving the entire state of Florida, is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards associate degrees in acting, dance performance, musical theater, stage management, theater technology, graphic design/new media and studio art. For more information, call (386) 312-4300 or visit FloArts.org.


PHOTO CAPTION:
Florida School of the Arts Musical Theatre Vocal Company rehearse for “Back To Broadway,” a free, one-day concert taking place November 21 at 2:30 p.m. Musical selections performed will celebrate the reopening of Broadway after the COVID-19 shutdown.



 

 

MEDIA CONTACT:
Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020