Madeline Burrow, who won best Overall and Best Lead Actress in a Musical Awards, and Travis Anderson, winner of the Best Lead Actor in a Musical Award, perform on stage during the 2016 Joci Awards Scholarship Competition. Photo courtesy of the Las Casas Foundation. Credit: Siggi Ragnar

Every year the Joci Awards Scholarship Competition hosts “rising stars” from area high schools on stage at the Empire Theatre to compete for the prestigious performance art awards sponsored by the Las Casas Foundation.

This year, students from the North East School of the Arts (NESA), a school in the North East Independent School District, swept the stage and won 12 out of the total 28 awards and caused ties in two different categories during the competition and award ceremony on Sunday, May 1. The competition is open for any senior attending a San Antonio area high school. The 2016 finalists represented 12 different high schools.

Madeline Burrow, who won awards for Best Overall and Best Lead Actress in a Musical, and Travis Anderson, winner of the Best Lead Actor in a Musical Award, will travel to New York to be part of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards. Lauren Campion and Madeline Jimenez tied for first place for the Best Voca” award, while Tamir Meishar and Preston Perez tied for Best Lead Actor in a Musical. These students are all seniors at NESA.

“The Joci Awards celebrates the performing arts and Texas’ rising stars. It’s exhilarating and exciting to recognize the amount of young talent in Texas, especially here in San Antonio,” stated Kevin Parman, president of the board of directors for Las Casas Foundation in a news release.

Las Casas is responsible for the renovation of the Majestic and Empire theatres in downtown, but the proliferation of performance art and education is another key part of its mission. The competition has awarded more than $689,000 in scholarships since it was founded in 2009. This year, the foundation gave more than $100,000 to local students.

More than 600 people attended the competition earlier this month at the Empire Theatre, according to Las Casas, and the winners were selected by a panel of six judges that included directors, producers and actors from stage, television and film.

“The competition for these scholarships is remarkable, so to win is a true honor,” Parman stated.

The winners for the 2016 Joci Awards Scholarship Competition are:

OVERALL WINNER:

$10,000 – Madeline Burrow                        North East School of the Arts

ACTING:

$5,000             Sophia Bernard                       Douglas MacArthur High School

$4,000             Joshua Bippert                       Winston Churchill High School

$3,500             Sam Terry                                Keystone School

$3,000             Andrea Fuentes                      Ronald Reagan High School

$2,500             Elizabeth Taylor                     Ronald Reagan High School

BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A MUSICAL:

$5,000             Travis Anderson                     North East School of the Arts

$4,000             Weston Smith                         Theodore Roosevelt High School

$3,500 (tie)     Tamir Meishar                       North East School of the Arts

$3,500 (tie)     Preston Perez                         North East School of the Arts

$2,500             Andrew Welch                        Lago Vista High School

BEST LEAD ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL:

$5,000             Madeline Burrow                   North East School of the Arts

$4,000             Gabriella Garcia                     St. Mary’s Hall

$3,500             Andrea Varnado                     North East School of the Arts

$3,000             Rachel Ryan                           Ronald Reagan High School

$2,500             Sarah Cosgrove                      Douglas MacArthur High School

DANCE:

$5,000             Anna Gibson                          Antonian College Preparatory

$4,000             Donna Wegert                       North East School of the Arts

$3,500             Elyse Echevarria                   North East School of the Arts

$3,000             Alison Bartels                        Ronald Reagan High School

$2,500             Sofia Leal                                John Marshall High School

VOCAL:

$5,000 (tie)     Lauren Campion                  North East School of the Arts

$5,000 (tie)     Madeline Jimenez               North East School of the Arts

$3,500             Brenna Santos                       Alamo Heights High School

$3,000             Katryna Marttala                  North East School of the Arts

$2,500             Anna Meyer                            North East School of the Arts

LINDA G. TILLERY/AT&T ESSAY AWARD:

$1,500 – Mattie Elizondo-Myers

$1,500 – Nicolas Rodriguez

https://rivardreport.wildapricot.org

Top image: Madeline Burrow, who won best Overall and Best Lead Actress in a Musical Awards, and Travis Anderson, winner of the Best Lead Actor in a Musical Award, perform on stage during the 2016 Joci Awards Scholarship Competition. Photo courtesy of the Las Casas Foundation. 

Related Stories:

Joci Awards Scholarship Issues Final Call for Applications

Empire Theatre, Clad in Gold, Turns 100

A Conversation with Joci Straus: Guardian of the Majestic, Empire Theaters

Where I Live: Towers at the Majestic

San Antonio Report Staff

This article was assembled by various members of the San Antonio Report staff.