Over $118,000 Awarded to Area Students and Schools at the 2019 Joci Awards

SAN ANTONIO (April 15, 2019) – On Sunday, April 14, Las Casas Foundation awarded its one-millionth dollar in scholarships and grants at the 2019 Joci Awards, maintaining its designation as the largest scholarship funding source of its kind in the United States.

The organization’s 11th annual performing arts scholarship competition, hosted by News 4 San Antonio’s Randy Beamer, featured 25 finalists from high schools in San Antonio and the surrounding area acting, singing and dancing, as they competed for a chance to win a portion of $118,500 in scholarship and grant funds and for two finalists, the chance to advance to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City. Additionally, four Production Assistant Interns were awarded scholarships, eight students were recognized as One in a Million scholarship recipients, three schools were recognized for their outstanding achievement in musical theatre production, and two students were awarded with full scholarships to attend the NYU-Steinhardt Summer Study in Music Theatre this August in New York City.

25 finalists stepped into the spotlight, having been chosen from a field of more than 135 applicants from 42 schools throughout South Texas. Finalists were guaranteed scholarship funds ranging from $3,000 to $6,000, with notable guest judges evaluating their live performances to determine the amount for each. An additional $10,000 was awarded to the best overall performance.

The Joci Awards Production Assistant Internship Program was presented as part of Las Casas Foundation’s annual scholarship program and in affiliation with Blanchard Creative Group. Under the direction of this professional production company, Production Assistant Interns played a critical role in the creative, technical and musical aspects of the 2019 Joci Awards. Each assistant was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

In celebration of awarding its one-millionth dollar, Las Casas Foundation honored a group of outstanding young students. One in a Million scholarship recipients each received a $1,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice.

Chosen from a field of more than 20 productions, three schools were honored for their musical theatre productions and each received a $500 stipend to support their theatre program and a special trophy to be displayed in the school’s award case. A teacher or director from the top production will also receive the chance to attend the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City in June.

In partnership with NYU – Steinhardt, Las Casas Foundation granted two students with full scholarships to attend the NYU-Steinhardt Summer Study in Music Theatre this August in New York City. During this highly competitive, two-week intensive, students will have the opportunity to take voice lessons, dance classes, song analysis classes and acting classes with NYU faculty. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to take masterclasses with industry professionals and attend three Broadway shows.

2019 Joci Awards winners included:

Overall Winner

$10,000: Mikayla Johnson – Edgewood Fine Arts Academy; San Antonio, TX

Acting

$6,000: Mikayla Johnson – Edgewood Fine Arts Academy; San Antonio, TX

$4,000: Cleon Ony – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

 $3,000: Mick Buck – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Nathan Daniel Cazares – Brackenridge High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Samuel Egger – Stevens High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Claire Tablizo – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Best Lead Actor in a Musical*

$6,000 (and advancing to the Jimmy Awards in NYC): Jackson Hager as Horace Vandergelder in Hello, Dolly! – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

$4,000: Kohl Robinson as Khashoggi in We Will Rock You – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Jeremy Kohler as The Baker in Into the Woods – Churchill High School; San Antonio, TX

Best Lead Actress in a Musical*

$6,000 (and advancing to the Jimmy Awards in NYC): Katie Bulen as The Drowsy Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone – Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

$4,000: Sydney White as Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly! – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Samantha Beckman as Killer Queen in We Will Rock You – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Carolina Isabella Campos as Dolly Gallagher Levi in Hello, Dolly! – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Kaitlyn Dutton as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls – Madison High School; San Antonio, TX

Dance

$6,000: Cameron Wood – iUniversity; San Antonio, TX

$4,000: Peyton Davis – O’Connor High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Kaben Danae Benavides – Advanced Learning Academy; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Erin Scott – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Emma Vicana – Johnson High School; San Antonio, TX

Vocal

$6,000: Julianna Ingram – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$4,000: Lexie Williams – New Braunfels High School; New Braunfels, TX

$3,000: Mary Lantz – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Claire McGinlay – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Kyla Smith – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$3,000: Christian Tinajero – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

* Finalists in the Best Lead Actor in a Musical and Best Lead Actress in a Musical categories are eligible to advance to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City.

Production Assistant Interns

$1,000: Rachel Hauser – McCollum High School; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Evan Riley – Churchill High School; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Jaden Serna – Edgewood Fine Arts Academy; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Luke Villaroya – Warren High School; San Antonio, TX

One in a Million Scholarship Recipients

$1,000: Olivia Barrón – MacArthur High School; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Katerina Damm – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Gabriela Garza – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Tyler Gonzolas – Warren High School; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Joilynn Green – McCallum Fine Arts Academy; Austin, TX

$1,000: Brycen Greene – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

$1,000: Aspen Palmer – Byron P. Steele High School; Cibolo, TX

$1,000: Jonathan Reyes – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

Best Musical

$500 (and trip to the Jimmy Awards in NYC): Hello, Dolly! – Reagan High School; San Antonio, TX

$500: The Drowsy Chaperone – Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

$500: Into the Woods – Brennan High School; San Antonio, TX

NYU – Steinhardt Summer Study in Music Theatre Scholarship Recipients

Faith Bulen – Taft High School; San Antonio, TX

Jonathan Reyes – North East School of the Arts; San Antonio, TX

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About Las Casas Foundation — Las Casas Foundation is dedicated to the development of the performing arts through education and scholarships, and the restoration and preservation of historic theatres. Las Casas Foundation offers a variety of educational initiatives to nurture and grow the performing arts, including the Las Casas Performing Arts Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than one million dollars since its inception in 2009, as well as additional educational and training opportunities like Behind the Scenes and Camp Broadway. For more information, visit www.lascasasfoundation.org.