A Night to Remember; Broadway Comes to St. John Inspires Community

By Ashley Cates, SJSA Director of Marketing
All photos courtesy of Yelena Rogers Photography.

January 28 was a magical night for the fourth graders of St John, their families, and the community. Broadway Comes to St. John showcased “In Record Time,” to a sold-out crowd at the Westin St. John Resort & Villas. This event brings the St. John School of the Arts’ mission statement to life: empowering the island’s youth and their families through a passion for music, dance, theatre and visual arts.

For seven years, Broadway actors have traveled to St. John to rehearse an original musical with students from Julius E. Sprauve School, Gifft Hill School, St. John Christian Academy and, this year, several island homeschoolers. After only three weeks of learning the music and choreography with Broadway actors Donna Drake, Riley Costello, John Tartaglia and Rhonda Miller, the children come together for their chance to learn new skills and to shine in front of an audience.

Each time, the crowd is touched by the performance, and this year’s show was no exception.

“This was at the top of my list of events I’ve attended here,” said Kelly Hudnall, St John resident and general manager of the St. John Inn. “The kids’ smiles and sense of pride along with the hearts of a very generous community made me tear up. I was honored to attend and can’t wait for next year’s performance.”

Broadway Comes to St. John is the biggest fundraiser of the year for St. John School of the Arts (SJSA), whose programs would not be possible without the support of patrons -local businesses and individuals- who embrace the mission of the School. This year’s success will allow SJSA to expand programming and scholarships awarded to students in the community.

“Broadway brings out the best in all of us,” says Kim Wild, executive director of St. John School of the Arts. “To see the kids do what they do fills us all up with joy! No words can describe the feeling; it’s simply magical.”

The 2017 Sis Frank Hero award was presented to Gifft Hill School. Dr. Laurie Bottiger, Head of School, and Miles Stair, President of the Trustees, accepted the award.

Pictured L to R: Kim Wild, Executive Director SJSA; Dr. Laurie Bottinger, Head of School at Gifft Hill School; and Miles Stair, President of the Trustees.

“The award is named for our founder, the beloved Sis Frank, and is the highest honor School of the Arts presents,” said Jim Furneaux, president of the board at SJSA. “This award recognizes over 25 years of collaboration between the two schools. We truly appreciate Gifft Hill School’s commitment to educate and develop the whole child including a serious commitment to the arts.”

Keishliany Vazquez was awarded the Broadway Scholarship, given to the student who the actors feel has worked very hard in rehearsals with focus and love for the arts.

Picture L to R: Rhonda Miller, Kim Wild, and Donna Drake present Keishliany Vasquez with the Broadway scholarship award.

The actors contribute to the Scholarship, which provides one class in music, art or dance for the upcoming school year.

Broadway Comes to St John has set a date for the Saturday, January 27, 2018 for their eighth show.

If you would like to make a contribution or for more information about upcoming events, programs, or volunteer opportunities at St. John School of the Arts, please email info@stjohnschoolofthearts.org.

To view more photos, visit http://www.yelenarogersphoto.com/.