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Theater and orchestra students win top honors

It may be June and school is officially out for the summer, but that hasn’t stopped the fine arts programs at Guyer High School and Denton High School from garnering additional hardware for the trophy case this month.

Dallas Summer Musicals (DSM) announced the 2021 winners of the 10th Annual DSM High School Musical Theatre Awards (HSMTA). The awards ceremony was presented as a virtual livestream through DSM’s YouTube page on June 11. A total of 41 performances from 39 participating high schools were evaluated by a diverse group of highly qualified judges from the North Texas theater community.

Guyer High School garnered ten nominations, resulting in two Guyer students and one staff member ultimately being recognized for their work in the school’s production of “The Phantom of an Opera.”

Parker Jackson, Class of 2021 graduate, was named Best Actor, and Emily Langley, Class of 2021 graduate, earned the theater major scholarship award of $2,500 for her standout performance.

Guyer High School’s theater musical director and technical director, Chris Crotwell, received accolades as his production of “The Phantom of an Opera” was recently named Best Musical Direction during the 2021 DSM Awards. The theater program at Guyer High School is under the direction of Eleshia Crotwell.

The Betty Lynn Buckley Awards Ceremony was recently hosted at the Casa Manana Theater in Fort Worth. Named after Fort Worth’s own Tony® Award-winning Best Actress, the scholarship awards program stands to promote and celebrate excellence in high school musical theatre.

Guyer High School’s Ryley Patten, Class of 2021 graduate, was named Best-Supporting Actress in a Musical, for her performance in “Bright Star.”

Participation in the Betty Lynn Buckley Awards is open to students in Denton, Wise, Parker, Hood, Johnson and Tarrant County.

In addition to the theater awards, two members of the Guyer High School orchestra and a member of the Denton High School orchestra were named “Outstanding Performer” at the UIL Texas State Solo & Ensemble Awards. Denton ISD had several gold medalists across its four high school campuses and three standout students were named number one in the state on their respective instruments.

Denton High School sophomore Maya Huber received “Outstanding Performer” for her performance on the Cello. The Denton High School orchestra is led by Julianne Booth and Carrie Atkins.

Guyer High School had two students win including Ocean Xie, sophomore, won “Outstanding Performer” for his performance on violin, and Christian Luevano, Class of 2021 Graduate, won the “Outstanding Performer” distinction for his performance on bass. The Guyer orchestra is under the direction of Michelle Hanlon and Jeremy Atkins.

The “Outstanding Performer” Award is the highest award in the state of Texas for an individual performer and it is selected by the adjudicator from all of the state gold medalists.