Outstanding Arts Students Recognized

The Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Central Methodist University named their top students in a celebration on May 6. Included were music and theatre students.

Dr. Mark Kelty awarded the 2018 Frederick Rhoads Awards (the “Freddies”) to 13 of his outstanding students. Included were awards for performance, directors, stage managers, technology and shop work.

The award winners included Myriah Arisa (junior theatre arts major from Columbia) as Best Female Actor in a Leading Role for her role as Kate in Brighton Beach Memoirs; Ben Kixmiller (sophomore theatre arts major from Prairie Home) as Best Male Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Charles Condomine in Blithe Spirit; Addison McGuire (senior biology major from Higbee) as Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role for his playing of Stan in Brighton Beach Memoirs; Cori Bryan (sophomore music education major from Springfield) as Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of ditzy Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit.

Three Best Student Director Awards were handed out in a tie to all three directors: Myriah Araiza, Karlie Noll (grad. Dec. 2017), and Abby Wimberley (senior theatre arts and communications majors from Independence). The Phoenix Award, which honors the student who has made the biggest theatrical strides went to Jenny Barnett (junior theatre arts major from St. Louis). Barnett also took home the Best Assistant Director/Stage Manager award for A Piece of My Heart and Brighton Beach Memoirs.

The Tech All-Star Award was given to Terri Banderet (senior biology major from Arnold); and the Shop Superstar Award went to Jordan Lane (sophomore biology major from Marshall).

The Most Versatile Player award was given to Nickie Foland (graduate student from Fayette); and the Outstanding Newcomer honor went to Katelyn Watts (sophomore elementary education major from Louisiana).

On the music side of the awards, 23 separate awards were given to current and graduating students.

The Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Collegiate Honor Award went to Matthew Johnson (senior music education major from Pacific); the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Scholastic Award was earned by Josh Miller (senior music education major from Waynesville). The Sigma Alpha Iota Collegiate Honor Award went to Tiffany Hankins (senior music education major from Fayette), while the Sigma Alpha Iota Scholastic Award was earned by Kay Wilken Neas (senior music education major from Fayette).

The Raney Winter NAfME-C Award also went to Kay Wilken Neas, as did the Hickman Award for Music.

The Music Teachers National Association Student Achievement Award was presented to Curtis Lierheimer (senior music education major from Mexico); the American Choral Directors Association National Student Choral Musician Award was given to Cayla Carr (senior music education major from Mount Sterling); The Dane Nelson Memorial Award went to Kay Wilken Neas.

The Luther T. Spayde Award was given to Amanda Lewis (sophomore music education major from Palmyra); the W.D. Settle Award went to Brendan Wiesehan (junior music education major from Villa Ridge); and the Martin C. Harrall Award went to Matthew Johnson.

The Missouri Federation of Music Clubs (instrumental) was won by Zack Kierstead (junior music major from Kirkwood); the R. Paul Drummond Memorial Award was presented to Keaton Denney (junior music education major from Cole Camp); the Helen Puckett Thogmorton Award for Excellence in Music went to Mikaela Lewis (senior music major from Harrisburg); the Nancy Thompson Jones GEM Award went to Rachel Martin (junior music education major from Fayette); the Prof. Paul A. Montemurro Award went to Tiffany Hankins; and The Herman C. Byrd Award went to Gannon Craig (senior music education major from Salem).

The Swinney Conservatory presented its Outstanding Freshman Award jointly to Alex Autry (freshman music education major from Norborne) and to Libby Cueni-Smith (sophomore music education major from Chillicothe); The Swinney Conservatory Super Hero Award went also jointly to Shelby Schaefer (senior athletic training major from Macon), Mike Williams (senior music education major from Knob Noster), and Joshua Stettes (junior music education major from Pacific).

The Mike Magyar Fine Arts Leadership Annual Award went to Myriah Azira; the Dr. Joseph E. Geist Award in Performing Arts was presented to Addison McGuire; and the Martin E. Kooi Excellence in Theatre Arts was earned by Terri Banderet.

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