Edmond Memorial attended the Kelli O’Hara Awards to celebrate our musical, The Drowsy Chaperone. The Kelli O’Hara Awards are the Central and Western Oklahoma High School Musical Theatre Awards. They honor and celebrate performing arts in our school system. This year, we were nominated for 7 awards which is a record setting number of nominations. Our nominations were:
-Outstanding Musical Performance (An award honoring the entire production)
-Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble of a Musical (An award honoring the cast of a production)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a musical (Carter Haney)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a musical (Joe Kelley)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a musical (Ryan Sawan)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a musical (Mia Lashley)
-Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a musical (Kennedy Vanover)
We ended up winning two awards: Outstanding Musical Performance and Kennedy Vanover won for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical.
Kennedy will be traveling to NYC in June to represent EMHS, The Kelli’s, and Oklahoma at the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (or the “Jimmy” Awards). She will be joined by winners from all over the country where they will attend a week intensive and work with artists from New York and LA. It will culminate in a ceremony held on a Broadway Stage where she will perform. Pretty cool stuff.
Last year, Owen Hatch won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical and attended this same event.
I wanted to take a moment and brag on our kids, of course,  but also acknowledge and thank you all for your support of the arts in our school. Memorial is a very unique place with enormous talent but also a long history and culture of supporting and fostering the arts in our students. I can tell you that we are the exception. Most high schools do not have the caliber of performing arts programs that we do and do not have the support from the students and staff in the way that we do. It is why we have been nicknamed the unofficial “performing arts” high school for over thirty years. The culture of understanding that the arts are vital to the success of our students, in partnership with their academics and our outstanding athletic programs, is what sets Memorial apart.

Patrick Towne