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The Wizard of Oz wins regional theater award

Filed in BCHS by on May 26, 2017

The BCHS Stage 700 spring musical production of The Wizard of Oz has captured a first-ever regional theater award for Best Student Orchestra. The award was announced as part of the first annual High School Musical Theatre Awards, sponsored by Proctors Theater and the Times Union. The awards were handed out at a ceremony on Saturday, May 20 at Proctors in Schenectady. 

“We are extremely proud that our talented student musicians have been recognized for their efforts,” said Jason Dashew, the show’s musical director. “They were an integral part of bringing the emotion of our stage production to life. In fact, each of the 150 students who contributed to The Wizard of Oz — either in the pit, onstage or backstage — delivered something extra special to our show and performed with a synergy that earned them five nominations in these first-ever regional theater awards.​”

The Wizard of Oz, which featured student performers from the high school in addition to more than 30 “munchkins” from the district’s five elementary schools, had received a total of five award nominations. In addition to Best Student Orchestra, the production was also nominated for Best Musical, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Set Construction.

Dashew said nearly 20 Bethlehem students performed on stage at Proctors as part of the ceremony. The group was featured reprising the “Jitterbug” number from The Wizard of Oz. The show also featured Bethlehem nominees for Best Actress (McKenzie Koch) and Best Actor (Jack Mastrianni) in a medley of songs performed alongside their fellow nominees from other schools. Some of the fifth grade munchkins were in the audience, he said.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for our students to participate and for the school district to be represented in this way,” said Dashew. “The awards show gave our performers a chance to get a big-time theater experience, performing on the Proctors’ main stage and seeing parts of the theater that are usually reserved for working actors and production staff. 

“They were able to stand under the same lights and use the same dressing rooms as those used by touring Broadway performers,” said Dashew. “It is an experience they earned. I hope it is one they will always remember and that will reinforce their love of the arts.”

In addition to McKenzie Koch and Jack Mastrianni, the following BCHS students performed as part of the awards show: Grace Adamczyck, Jennie Ansong, Sarah Ansong, Natalie Barcia-Varno, Matt Bonacci, Emily Crandall, Hunter Frederick, Heather Frederick, Catherine Janston, Annie Krege, Mary Kate Krege, Annabelle Liu, Sarah Marshall,  Ian Myers, Emma Paulson, Caroline Spore and Catie Van Luven.

Congratulations to everyone who contributed to The Wizard of Oz.

View the Times Union and Proctors’ coverage of the High School Musical Theatre Awards: 

The Wizard of Oz Orchestra

  • Bass – Bowen Chen
  • Cello – Ella Goodwin
  • Clarinet – Isabelle Courtney
  • Drums /Percussion – Eric Chang and Adam Winne
  • Flute/Clarinet – Mr. Patrick Beauregard
  • Flute/Piccolo – Isabella Bulnes and Jingxuan Liu
  • French Horn – Joshua Hauser and Anna Perry
  • Keyboard – Gavin Preller
  • Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Bass Clarinet – Matthew Fox
  • Baritone Saxophone – Adam Dounane
  • Tenor Saxophone – Nijad Nashar
  • Trumpet – Mr. Christopher Jantson
  • Tuba – Richard Sweeney
  • Violin – Lauren Namkoong and Jennie Tang
  • Viola – Ryan Vis