Scholarships Awarded at CGT, Center Stage

CGT-header-copy.jpgCentral Methodist University once again played host to more than 20 outstanding and talented high school students ready to take their music and theatre skills to the next level, with both the Central’s Got Talent and Center Stage scholarship competitions taking place on Thursday, February 22. After a day of intense competition, full-tuition scholarships were awarded to Elizabeth Boyd of Affton, Cecilia Rancatore of Independence, and Luan Nguyen of Sullivan.

“I can’t tell you what a great day it’s been,” said Dr. Mark Kelty, professor of theatre, upon reaching the award ceremony portion of the day. “The level of talent here is so incredible. It was so impossible to make a decision on who our top scholarship [winner] was going to be.”

Kelty and the theatre department did in fact reach a decision on the winner, and the first Terri Rohlfing Theatre Arts Scholarship was awarded to Elizabeth Boyd of Affton High School. Boyd participated in both competitions on the day, but her theatre performances of “Where, Oh Where” from Out of This World and “I intend to be a queen” from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown turned out to be the winning combination.

“Both my choir teacher and theatre director are alumni and inspired me to look into the [university]. After doing further research, I realized CMU was my first choice,” said Boyd. “I already knew no matter where I went, my theatre drive would follow. I love the stage and am appreciative of the amazing productions I’ve completed. I can’t wait for more.”

On the instrumental, vocal, and praise band side of the day, Dr. Dori Waggoner echoed Kelty’s words about the levels of talent on display for the CGT competitors

“The level of performance today has been so high, and making these decisions has been really, really hard,” said the dean of the Swinney Conservatory of Music.

After round one of performances, Waggoner announced six finalists who would perform again before the crowd in the Kountz Recital Hall: Caleb Smith of Jonesboro, Ark., Ephram Weisman of Macon, Luan Nguyen of Sullivan, Colleen Allen of Marshall, Cecilia Rancatore of Independence, and Avery Haner of Columbia. The day of competition ended with Rancatore and Nguyen being awarded the two full-tuition scholarships for CGT.

“I love how welcoming everyone is [at Central], along with all the opportunities I will have right out of the gate,” said Rancatore on why she is excited to continue her music education at CMU. “I am excited to be able to feel like I’m a part of the community soon.”

Rancatore, who attends Truman High School, competed in both Center Stage and CGT, performing “Bel Piacere” by Georg Friedrich Handel in her scholarship-winning turn.

Nguyen, a student at Sullivan High School, performed Rigoletto Fantasy by Luigi Bassi on clarinet in a standout performance.

“I was always fond of music and just wanted to try to play an instrument, so when middle school band came, I begged my mom to let me join and try out music,” Nguyen said on how he became interested in performing.

In addition to the full-tuition awards, scholarships were presented to every participant in both competitions on the day. Additional Center Stage awards were given to Emeline DeLapp of Savannah, Ralyn Rampton of Moberly, Andrew Holmes of Fulton, Lukas Heldenbrand of Chillicothe, and Walker Lapinski of St. Charles. Remaining Central’s Got Talent competitors included Natalie Glen of Troy, Cory Lewis of Norborne, Logan Maxwell of Boonville, Ruari Wells of Fayette, Devin Jones of Auxvasse, Caleb Scantlin of Shelbina, Joseph Burks of Macon, Landon Meyer of Moberly, Gabriel Branson of Linn, Emily Baker of Boonville, and Owen Witter of Columbia.

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