Hays High musical vies for Wichita's Jester Awards
By DIANE GASPER-O'BRIEN
The Hays High School musical production has been nominated for best overall production by the Music Theatre of Wichita for the second consecutive year.
Last year, "Aida" was nominated for 12 (out of a possible 19) Jester Awards given out by the Music Theatre.
Several members of the cast of "Li'l Abner" -- last fall's musical -- have been announced as one of the nominees on the 2012-13 Jester Award list.
In addition to being nominated for best overall production, several other members of "Li'l Abner" also were honored as nominees this year.
As a nominee for best overall production, the "Li'l Abner" cast has been asked to perform a production number at the May 17 awards ceremony in Wichita.
"I was thrilled we were in the best overall category again," said Johnny Matlock, director of vocal music at Hays High. "That kind of shows the qualify of what we're doing."
Matlock also gave credit to Brenda Meder, executive director of the Hays Arts Council who serves as stage director for the Hays High musical.
"Brenda does a great job of casting the vision of the show," he said, "and where we want to go with it."
Other nominations for Hays High this year are:
* Direction of show: Johnny Matlock, music, and Brenda Meder, stage.
* Supporting actress: Rachel Muirhead.
* Chorus: Entire cast.
* Orchestra: Johnny Matlock.
* Musical direction: Johnny Matlock.
* Stage crew: Colby Custer, Megan Dinkel, Kaysha Leiker, Jill Pokorny, Shelby Richmeier, Samantha Rohleder.
* Sound: Jeremy Wann.
* Lobby decorations: Stacy Berens, Russ Koenigsman, Penny McGinnis, Lisa Schreck.
HHS students national finalists again
Hays High School seniors kept up the tradition of finishing in the top 16 in their events at the national DECA competition earlier this month.
Shelby Dinkel was called on stage as one of the finalists in the international business plan event to lead HHS' contingent at the 2013 International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, Calif.
Ten finalists are called on stage for each event, with the top five being recognized with individual awards. Dinkel wasn't one of the top five finishers but still received a medal for her top-10 finish.
Also placing in the top 16 of their event were seniors Arin Straub and Courtney Storer, who teamed up to participate in the community service project competition.
In addition, five of their classmates also were honored for meeting minimum competency in the project by finishing in the 20 percent (or top 32) at nationals.
Jessica Carriera and Caitlyn Miller were recognized for their financial literacy promotion plan, and the trio of Millie Copper, Nick Glassman and Darian Leiker, entrepreneurship promotion plan.