Tiyanna Gentry, Sevon Askew win top honors at 2018 Spotlight Awards

Tiyanna Gentry and Sevon Askew
Tiyanna Gentry of Hillsboro High School.

Tiyanna Gentry of Hillsboro High School.

Tiyanna Gentry of Hillsboro High School (Davidson) and Sevon Askew of Central Magnet High School (Rutherford) were named Best Actress and Best Actor at Saturday’s 2018 Spotlight Awards ceremony. They will travel to New York next month to compete nationally in the Jimmy Awards on June 25.

The 5th Nashville High School Musical Theatre Awards, or Spotlight Awards, were created by Mike Fernandez, Dean of Lipscomb University’s George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts, to recognize excellence in local high school theatre. Now, presented in partnership with the nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the program evaluated musical productions from 26 Tennessee high schools.

Hosted by award-winning actress and classically-trained musician Elizabeth A. Davis in TPAC’s Jackson Hall, the Tony Awards-style ceremony recognized individual and ensemble talent in more than two dozen categories after students participate in all-day workshops on the Lipscomb campus.

Chattanooga Christian School’s production of “Meet Me in St. Louis” led the pack with three Spotlight Awards, winning for Best Set Design, Best Ensemble and Best Show. Participating in the program for the first time, Chattanooga Christian School is one of only two high schools from East Tennessee to join 24 Middle Tennessee high schools.

Additional individual awards went to Cassidy Alexander of Franklin High School and Madeleine Hall of Christ Presbyterian (TIE Standout Female Dancer), Lelan Wilhoite of Siegel High School (Standout Male Dancer), Diamond Goins of Siegel High School (Standout Female Soloist), Keller Montgomery of Lipscomb Academy (Standout Male Soloist), Lorelei McDaniel of Christ Presbyterian Academy (Standout Supporting Actress), Zeth Dixon of Hume-Fogg Academic High School (Standout Supporting Actor), Kaitlyn Sumner of Franklin High School (Standout Ensemble Actress), Keegan Spurr of Grace Christian Academy (Standout Ensemble Actor), Emma Harvey of Station Camp High School (Standout Comedic Actress), David Torres of Nashville School of the Arts (Standout Comedic Actor), Abigail Wilson of Mt. Juliet Christian Academy (Standout Dramatic Actress), Will Ryan of Brentwood High School (Standout Dramatic Actor).

Sevon Askew of Central Magnet High School.

Sevon Askew of Central Magnet High School.

Other honors went to Independence High School’s “Legally Blonde” (Best Choreography, Best Music Direction), Lipscomb Academy’s “Cinderella” (Best Vocals, Best Overall Tech), Mt. Juliet Christian Academy’s “Singin’ in the Rain” (Best Costume Design, Best Direction), Hume-Fogg Academic High School’s “Hello, Dolly!” (Best Orchestra), Station Camp High School’s “On the Town” (Best Hair and Makeup Design), Grace Christian Academy’s “Beauty and the Beast” (Best Lighting Design) and Hillsboro High School’s “Into the Woods” (Best Overall Design Concept).

The 26 Tennessee high schools participating in the program include (DAVIDSON) Cane Ridge High School, Christ Presbyterian Academy, Davidson Academy, Father Ryan High School, Hillsboro High School, Hume-Fogg Academic High School, Lipscomb Academy, Nashville School of the Arts, Overton High School, St. Cecilia Academy; (DICKSON) Creek Wood High School; (HAMILTON) Chattanooga Christian School; (KNOX) Grace Christian Academy; (MAURY) Columbia Academy; (PUTNAM) Monterey High School; (RUTHERFORD) Central Magnet High School, Siegel High School; (SUMNER) Hendersonville High School, Station Camp High School; (WILLIAMSON) Battle Ground Academy, Brentwood High School, Franklin High School, Independence High School, Page High School, Ravenwood High School and (WILSON) Mt. Juliet Christian Academy.

Lipscomb University’s George Shinn College of Entertainment & the Arts is one of the fastest-growing colleges in the university, with a variety of undergraduate and graduate degrees. The mission of the college is to be a Christ-centered, innovative, entrepreneurial arts community committed to rigorous artistic training, creative collaboration and professional growth that seeks to train the next generation of believer artists who seek to uplift, challenge and entertain. For more information, visit cea.lipscomb.edu.

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