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'Sweet Charity' orchestra named best

ALBANY, N.Y. (May 11, 2019) -- The Albany High School Theatre Ensemble’s March production of “Sweet Charity” earned an award for best student orchestra on Saturday at the regional 2019 High School Musical Theatre Awards.


Albany High School was one of 30 schools participating in the annual ceremony, a model of the Tony awards that’s geared toward high-school musical theater productions.


Senior trumpeter Emma Russell accepted the award on behalf of the "pit" orchestra, which was led by teacher John Halvorsen. Members of the pit orchestra include:

  • Sarah Bearden, flute

  • Vivian Buckner, violin

  • Mary Cabuhat, percussion

  • Polina Cassella, electric bass

  • Cole Churchill, trombone

  • Amelia Colafati, violin

  • Ingrid Colafati, violin

  • Aengus Gillespie, trumpet

  • Aerick Gonzales, saxophone

  • Aine Haugh, flute/piccolo

  • Venla Johnson, trumpet

  • Olivia Lopez, clarinet

  • Ryann Murray, flute

  • John Nocus, clarinet

  • Faith O'Toole, violin

  • Molly O'Toole, saxophone

  • Themba Pieterse, trumpet

  • Daniel Pollydore, bassoon

  • Emma Russell, trumpet

  • Casey Su-Morrill, flute/piccolo

  • Felix Streznewski, trombone


“Sweet Charity” had been a finalist for best actress (Annabelle Duffy), best supporting actress (Sania Cooper), best student orchestra, best technical execution and best choreography execution.


The High School Musical Theatre Awards are coordinated by the School of the Performing Arts at Proctors Theatre. Proctors also hosts the event.


Congratulations to members of the “Sweet Charity” pit orchestra and to all member of the Theatre Ensemble for a terrific run!


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves approximately 9,300 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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