SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Utah Festival announced the 2019 Utah High School Musical Theatre Awards Winners Saturday night at Eccles Theater. 

Hundreds of students from two dozen high schools around Utah gathered at the event to celebrate their achievements, talents, and dedication to the performing arts.

The event was filled with theatrical performances, a walk on the red carpet, a chance to be in the spotlight, and photos to last a lifetime.

Two of the winners, Abigail Edwards from Green Canyon High School in North Logan and Ethan Kelso from Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts, won Best Actress and Best Actor and will soon be on their way to New York City to compete nationally.

Edwards won Best Actress for her role as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” and Kelso won Best Actor for his portrayal of Will Bloom in “Big Fish.”

The two students will represent the state of Utah at the Jimmy® Awards in New York City in June where they will experience 10 days of private coaching, master classes and rehearsals with theatre professionals, and opportunities for professional advancement and other awards.

“It was an incomparable evening honoring talent in our state,” Vanessa Ballam, director of UHSMTA said. “Holding the awards in the beautiful Eccles Theater is the perfect way to celebrate these incredible student artists. There was magic in the air.”

The evening showcased 10 production numbers by high schools nominated for Best Musical and medleys performed together by all contenders for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Fremont High School in Plain City took home the Crystal Inn and Suites Award for Best Musical for their production of “Seussical.”

“The work happening in our Utah high schools is inspiring. Utah Festival is honored to be a part of their artistic journey,” said Ballam. 

Other winners include:

Best Supporting Actor: Caleb Hunt, Uintah High School’s (Greaseball)

Best Supporting Actress: Jordan Petersen – Salt Lake School for the Performing Arts (Beth March)

Best Cameo Performance: Adelle Remke – Highland High School (Fruma Sarah)

Best Director: Skyridge High School (Cinderella)

Best Ensemble: Davis High School (Newsies) 

Best Scenic Design: Bonneville High School (The Phantom of the Opera) 

Best Orchestra: Juan Diego Catholic High School (Guys and Dolls)

Best Costume Design: Uintah High School (Starlight Express) 

Best Lighting Design: Uintah High chcool (Starlight Express)

Best Technical Crew: Hillcrest High School (Hairspray)

Best Student Choreography (Annabelle Zimmer & Carson Sabin) Davinci Academy (Ruthless)

Best Student Scenic Design: Kaden Pigsley, Eric Burton & Aaron Cornaby – Hillcrest High (Sunday in the Park with George)

Best Student Costume Design: Brianne Miller & Steffani McMullin – Mountain Crest High (Annie Get Your Gun)

Best Student Lighting Design: Dakota Grothe – Pleasant Grove High School (Anything Goes)

Utah Festival sent 14 professional judges to 40 Utah high school musicals over the past six months to score and respond to the productions. The finalists then competed in the official awards ceremony at the Eccles Theater.

The UHSMTA gives awards in 18 different categories from The Marriott Award for Best Choreography to The Daynes Music Award for Best Orchestra and FJM Impact/Maverik Award for Best Ensemble.

The education and outreach department of Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre in Logan sponsors and produces the event and is partnered with MagicSpace Entertainment/Broadway at the Eccles as their national affiliate.

The Domo Broadway at the Eccles Education Fund makes participation in the national competition possible and the Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre sponsors the winners of Best Actor and Best Actress to fly to New York City to compete on the national level.

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