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Rising Stars: Hillcrest, Alta Musicals Nominated for Top State Honors

As famed thespians have said throughout history whenever outside circumstances have threatened to derail a pending production, “The show must go on.”

Instead of attending a Tony Awards-like show, fans of prep musical theater will turn to YouTube on Saturday, May 16 to find out whether the nominated Canyons District shows and student stars will walk away with honors at the annual Utah High School Musical Theater Awards.

The 7 p.m. event will be broadcast on the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater YouTube channel. The awards program is sponsored by the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in association with Broadway Across America/Broadway at the Eccles.

Hillcrest High’s production of “42nd Street,” which featured dozens of tap-dancing teens, received a whopping 12 nominations, including Best Musical, Director, Choreography, Costume, Lighting, Technical Crew, and Ensemble.

Hillcrest students Carson Mcfarland and Caroline Ciet received nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress categories, and Andrew Walker and Ella Willhite were nominated for their supporting roles. Teresa Fassler also was nominated in the Best Cameo category,

Alta High’s “Once Upon a Mattress” received five nominations, including Best Orchestra and Set Design. Addison Horrocks was nominated for Best Actress, Abram Berry was nominated as a Best Supporting Actor, and Tyler Framption is up for Best Cameo.

The show’s organizers said they turned to technology when it became apparent the show could not go on in a traditional format as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

“The health and safety of our participating students, teachers, staff, crew and patrons are absolutely paramount,” the Utah Festival Opera said in a statement. “We are overjoyed to have this wonderful digital option to recognize the stellar musical theater work happening in Utah on the high school level.”

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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