Broadway came to Bronxville on April 28, and the show was a smashing success! Young at Arts, the performing arts outreach program at Christ Church, was the host to major stars from Broadway. The performers treated a church full of music fans to some of their favorite hits from Broadway under the musical direction of Annbritt and Charles duChateau.
The duChateaus, who live in the neighborhood, called on their friends from such shows as Aladdin, Mary Poppins, and Phantom of the Opera to sing with the students of Young at Arts. Michael James Scott, who plays a genie in Aladdin, wowed the crowd with a rousing rendition of a favorite show tune, along with the entire Young at Arts chorus.
Ruth Wood, who was honored for her many contributions to the Village of Bronxville, had this to say: "Young at Arts provides excellent music education for a diverse group of young people from Southern Westchester and the Bronx. My daughter Vance has been fortunate to be part of this talented group of kids and has learned so much from the gifted educators who run the program. I am thrilled to be honored and am happy that so many friends were able to be thoroughly entertained by the magical night of music in the gorgeous sanctuary at Christ Church."
The guests at the benefit were struck by the amazing performances right in the village. When John Cudia reprised his role as the Phantom, it was a perfect moment of musical theater. Local talent Lily Hickey joined Broadway veterans Kathy Voytko and Q. Smith in a moving version of another Broadway favorite. And when Raymond Jaramillo McCleod sang a familiar ditty, the crowd recognized his voice from the many famous animated film characters he has portrayed. All the artists were there to lend a hand to the fundraiser because they had also been mentored as young teens.
The fundraiser allows Young at Arts to offer scholarships for its students. Director Sharyn Pirtle said that she founded Young at Arts on the principle that every child deserves access to an excellent arts education. "Through a comprehensive education in vocal music and drama, children from different backgrounds share a love for the performing arts while developing the values of leadership, discipline, integrity, and community to make them tolerant, global citizens of the world."
Young at Arts will present the musical Oliver! June 13 to 15. For more information or to audition for the program, go to http://www.youngatartsny.org.