Englewood Students Revive Hollywood’s Golden Age
Friday, January 8, 2016 at 7pm
Advance Tickets $7 students $10 adults
Day of Show: $10 students $15 f adults.
For More information: www.englewoodidol.com
(Englewood, NJ - December 21, 2015) Talented teen vocalists from Englewood, New Jersey will grace the stage of bergenPAC on Friday, January 8, at 7:00 pm in the 11th annual Englewood Idol competition.
Englewood Idol is a fundraiser for the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund. Students once again hope to raise at least $10,000 through this event, which is expected to top last year’s attendance record of more than 1,300 supporters.
This year’s event will feature ten contestants, all students from the city’s high schools: The Dwight-Englewood School (D-E), and Dwight Morrow High School’s Comprehensive Program (DM), Eagle Program, and the [email protected] ([email protected]). They are. Amanda Haroutunian (D-E Sophomore), Gamma Hammond ([email protected] Junior), Yume Murphy ([email protected] Senior), Eric Lee ([email protected] Junior), Maurice West-Mouzone (DM Senior), Bianca Orozco (DM Junior), Genesis Capellan (DM Freshman), Rebekah Han ([email protected] Senior), Jakai Green (DM Sophomore) and Lance Talton (EAGLE).
The show also will feature “Englewood’s Best Dance Crew,” a competition among teams of dancers from Englewood’s high schools. Dwight-Englewood Language Arts teacher and Dance Club advisor Vicky Frankel lends her choreographic talents to this competition, along with celebrated Dance teacher Marisa Catena of Dwight Morrow High School and the [email protected]
The judging panel will once again feature Florian Bellanger, acclaimed pastry chef and judge of the hit TV show Cupcake Wars; Broadway performer Kelli Rabke-Agresta; Education Outreach Director of bergenPAC Alex Diaz; and actor, model, and Language Arts teacher at Janis Dismus Middle School, Christopher Tisdale.
Auditions for Englewood Idol were open to any high school student living in, or attending school in, Englewood or Englewood Cliffs. More than 40 students auditioned this year for just ten spots.
Englewood Idol Creator and Producer Judy Aronson says she is thrilled to see how the students have embraced this year’s Hollywood theme. “Old-time movies and music have really made a comeback, and this year’s students are beyond excited to hold Englewood Idol at bergenPAC. They can’t get over the fact that this theater, which is right in their neighborhood, dates back to the 1920’s!” Aronson continued, “Every time we visit here, the students comment on how elegant and beautiful it is.” Students have also designed elaborate lobby and stage displays that complement bergenPAC’s décor. “Our students are so lucky to be holding our show at this storied theater and they know it. And you should see the costumes they’ll be wearing, dressing as famous celebrities. They really want to add to the glamour of the night.”
Teachers have also embraced the tradition of mentoring students who want to leave an off-the-stage impact on the show. These pairings include DMAE Art teachers Grace Browne and Mauricio Rodriguez guiding Josimar Lovera, Claudia Huerta and Maria Sepulveda on how to design and construct the lobby displays, as well as sophomore Sue Um, who created this year’s clever Tshirt design. In addition, Information Systems teacher Mitchell Ravitz has guided film directors and editors Nasr Kamar, Ashmar Beadle, Ryan Pruitt and Stefano Castro on how to create the films for the evening, as well as webmasters Qaadir Khan and Elliot Fisher, who oversee the student-created website EnglewoodIdol.com.
More than 85 students in the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund Elective and Club, as well as 22 seniors on the Grieco Scholarship Board of Trustees and 14 new 7th & 8th grade volunteers from the Janis Dismus Middle School, work together to organize Englewood Idol. The elective class focuses on teaching students all aspects of event management, such as creating a budget, designing a marketing plan, selling tickets, T-shirts, and program ads, editing and designing the show program, running the lighting and sound booth, and overall event production. The Musical Directors of the show are the 2015 Englewood Idol and [email protected] graduate Omarr Kaba and former Idol Semi-Finalists Dasia Capers (DM ’13) and [email protected] Senior Niaree Thomas . The Director of Englewood Idol is DMAE Language Arts teacher Mindy Rochman, the Stage Manager is [email protected] graduate Olga Correa, and the Technical Director is DMAE Information Systems teacher Mitchell Ravitz.
Englewood Idol is the largest annual fundraiser for students of the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity run by students at DMHS and [email protected] The late Dr. John Grieco, for whom the Scholarship Fund was named, was the Englewood Public School Superintendent who spearheaded the creation of the Academies @ Englewood program as well as other initiatives bringing educational reform and greater opportunities for students in the Englewood Public Schools. According to Judy Aronson, Founder and Faculty Advisor of the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, “Students, parents and staff have come to view Englewood Idol as more than a musical competition; it is an expression of so many of the values that Dr. John Grieco stood for,” citing how it helps Englewood’s high school students connect on a different level, outside of the classroom, doing something they love.
The classic black and white Englewood Idol T-shirt features a mock “Hollywood” sign that shows “Englewood,” perched on the Hollywood Hills. They are available for $10, along with Englewood Idol sweatpants available for $20. Tickets to Englewood Idol can be purchased in the main offices of Dwight Morrow High School, the [email protected], and the Janis Dismus Middle School, with the help of JDMS Librarian and Marketing Club Advisor Cathy Robertson. Advance tickets are $7 for students and $10 for adults; tickets at the door will be $10 for students and $15 for adults. Those interested in purchasing tickets, T-shirts, or sweatpants, or wishing to support the Dr. John Grieco Scholarship Fund, can call 201-294-0725, email [email protected], or visit the student-created website www.englewoodidol.com.