It's not often I get to mix work and my Disney-mania. But this is one of those times...
The William Byrd High School Players returned to Roanoke, Virginia with the highest number of medals and trophies from the 2009 National Performing Arts Festival-Orlando (held at Walt Disney World) -- more than any other group. The troupe brought home 13 medals ranging from vocal performance to choreography and most outstanding performance. They also brought home two trophies—one in excellence, and one in outstanding male performance. Two youth groups were selected to showcase—Off Broadway Kids of Georgia (a private musical theatre training group) and William Byrd High School.
The WB Players’ male ensemble showcased on the Disney outdoor Waterside stage at Downtown Disney with “Rollin’/Searching.” In addition, several WB Players were asked by Disney officials to audition for performance roles. Finally, the WB Players worked with Disney vocal coaches and choreographers in workshops, and a professional New York acting coach who not only performs, but also is used by acting professionals and Disney professionals with audition preparation.
At the awards banquet at Planet Hollywood, the team found out that two groups were selected to showcase by Disney. The first group did a cutting from “Once upon an Island,” and Disney selected the male ensemble work of “Rollin’/Searching.” The WB Players brought home a trophy in excellence.
As National Champions, the WB Players were invited to bring the school’s choral department to open the festival with a medley from “Footloose,” and “Grease.” The school’s traveling choral members were joined by the cast and crew of “Smokey Joe’s Café,” to create a showchoir of approximately 30 members. The group performed on the Saratoga Springs Resort Stage before an enthusiastic crowd of participants, guests, and Disney executives.
As two year National Performing Arts Festival winners, the WB Players have earned a reputation of excellence in the arts in the areas of acting, vocal, and dance. The next production for this troupe is Disney's "High School Musical," opening in late April.
Way to go gang!!!