Winning Weekend for MSA Theatre and Music

Theatre wins top awards at Ohlone Festival, Jazz Choirs, Bands score high at Santa Cruz Festival

Over 150 Marin School of the Arts students fanned out across Northern California March 18th and 19th to share their talents and represent Novato High School in two major festivals. Forty-seven students, coached by MSA Theatre Director Rodney Franz, choreographer Devin Sullivan and music director Scott DeTurk competed in Ohlone College’s 22nd Annual High School Theatre Festival winning five 1st place awards and the Judges Sweepstakes Trophy.

MSA Theatre Ohlone awards

MSA Theatre students and faculty celebrate their results.

Students are allowed to compete in two separate Ohlone Festival events and contestants from every school compete twice in their categories before two sets of judges. Over 60 schools, from as far away as Los Angeles, participated.

Performers with the highest marks perform in a final round to determine over-all winners. Sixteen out of 21 MSA entries were called back for command performances resulting in MSA earning nine awards,including five first place awards and the Judges’ Sweepstakes Trophy, awarded to the school with the highest cumulative points.

“It is so gratifying to see these students receive such well-deserved praise and recognition. It is incredible to see the students’ work evolve over time and reach such tremendous heights. These accomplishments show why it’s so important to have this supportive and creative environment,” said Tiffany Benson, Assistant Principal of Novato High School/MSA.

“Where else can you see Othello battle Desdemona in the morning, take AP Spanish in the afternoon, and end your day watching Eliza Doolittle waltz her way into Higgin’s heart?” she added.


MSA Jazz Choir 2 at their command performance

MSA music students also earned top scores March 19 when MSA Jazz Bands, Combos and Jazz Choirs competed at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival. Both MSA Jazz Choirs and Jazz Band 1 earned top scores and command performances. It was the first time two jazz choirs representing one school earned simultaneous command performances.



MSA Advanced Jazz Choir at their command performance.

“I am extremely proud of the music these students are creating and the support and encouragement they are giving each other,” MSA Choir Director Stevie Greenwell said, summing up the feeling felt by many MSA supporters.

MSA Jazz Combos 1 and 2 also earned top scores, while additional bands and combos scored extremely well. The festival also featured students Megan Macquarie and Adam Miller taking turns as guest conductors for the Jazz Bands, as MSA Jazz Director Dr. Greg Johnson had an unavoidable scheduling conflict. See the complete list of MSA results for both festivals below.

MSA Theatre Ohlone Festival awards:

Theatre students prepare for their performances.

Theatre students prepare for their performances.

• The Judges’ Sweepstakes Trophy: (Revolving Festival Trophy) given to one school with the highest number of points per students entered.
• 1st Place Maxi Musical Theatre: (with a cast over 11) Lerner and Loewe’s MY FAIR LADY
• 1st  Place Women’s Classical Dramatic Monologue: Talia Friedenberg as Lady Anne, Richard III
• 1st  Place Men’s Classical Dramatic Monologue: Jordan Ford as Gloucester, Henry VI Part III
• 1st Place Men’s Classical Humorous Ensemble: Frank Demma, Byron Garcia & Spencer Greene for Scapin
• 1st Place Classical Dramatic Ensemble: Blaize Adler-Ivanbrook & Willow Orthwein for Othello
• 2nd Place Women’s Contemporary Monologue: Sofia Mineghino as Sonya, Uncle Vanya
• 2nd Place Women’s Classical Humorous Monologue: Shelby Fenn as Mabel Chiltern, An Ideal Husband
• 3rd Place Men’s Contemporary Humorous Monologue: Byron Garcia as Francis Henshall, One Man, Two Guv’nors

Santa Cruz Jazz Festival results:

Jazz Band 1 competes with Adam Miller guest conducting.

• Jazz Choir 1: All 1s for performance
• Jazz Choir 2: All 1s for performance
• Jazz Band 1: All 1s for performance and sight reading-command performance status
• Jazz Band 2: All 1s for performance and 3 in sight reading
• Jazz Band 3: All 2s for performance and 1 in sight reading
• Jazz Band 4: All 2s for performance and sight reading
• Jazz Combo 1: Both 1s
• Jazz Combo 2: Both 1s
• Jazz Combo 3: 1 and 2
• Jazz Combo 4: 1 and 2

(Jazz combos receive two scores based on two judges’ adjudication)

Jazz Choir solo awards included Vanessa Silva, Gabriel Garcia, Sara Warner, Sara Meblin, Jane Tran, and Elena Golubovich.

Jazz Band and Combo solo awards included: Adam Miller, Sal Meblin, Preston Gasser, Tristan Mitchell, Jackson Torchon, Remy Caddell, Kirk Stevenson, Alexa Runyan, Alex Benjamin, Tim Chyrklund and Matt Paquette

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