June 15, 2016

A Banner Year for Performing Arts

Ren Bell

This year, Oakwood’s Performing Arts Department closed their high school season at the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, with a blowout performance of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue under the baton of Resident Conductor, Anthony Parnther—a fitting finale to a banner year in performing arts.

Weeks earlier at the Pantages, Ben McIntosh gleefully accepted the Jerry Herman Award for Best High School Orchestra, for the Pit Band of this year’s musical, Rent. When given the award by an actor best known as the voice of Lucky Charms, Ben said to the packed audience, “I love your cereal.” The crowd went wild. This is the third year Oakwood has competed in the prestigious Jerry Herman Awards, recently dubbed the “Hermies” (by none other than McIntosh)—a huge round of applause to students Jonah, Hannah, Wills, and Jack for their excellent work in bringing this musical to life in such a vivid and inspiring way. In addition to the award, Casey Ahern, Rich Brunner, and 11th grader, Lily, were nominated for Best Musical Direction!

Just a month prior, members of the Oakwood Theatre Department’s chapter of the International Thespian Society made their yearly pilgrimage to Upland, CA for the State Competition, where senior Talia and her brother, Evan, won second place in Scene Duets for the Southern California Conference. Juniors, Shayna and Nika, both achieved Superior ratings in the monologue competition; sophomore, Zach, achieved a Superior rating for Solo Musical Performance.


Jerry Herman Award for Best High School Orchestra

All this in a single trimester!

In all, it’s been an incredible year for performing arts at Oakwood, and the theatre department had the honor of closing this remarkable season with their production of TWELVE, an adaptation of the classic American courtroom drama, Twelve Angry Men, capping off 50 years of Theatre at Oakwood.

Here’s to 50 more!