by Morgan Smith
One Charlotte Christian freshman had the shock of her life last weekend when she won Best Supporting Actress in the inaugural Blumey Awards.
Emma VanDeVelde stole the title with her role as Anita in Charlotte Christian School’s production of “West Side Story.” The school was one of 20 competing in the first annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards, where schools and students were nominated for 13 different categories of awards. Students and their families and friends attended an awards ceremony Sunday, May 20, where winners were announced. Emma, who wasn’t even expecting a nomination, said she was just in awe of the fact that she took home the title against five other finalists.
“It was the biggest shock I’ve ever had,” she said. “Being so young, I didn’t expect to be nominated or get the role in the play that I did. Just coming in right after middle school and winning such an honorable award is just awesome.”
Emma’s teacher, LoriAnne Sword, agrees.
“I think it’s outstanding that she won, but it’s also very outstanding that she was a freshman winning in a very competitive category,” Sword said.
Charlotte Christian School, along with Charlotte Latin School and South Mecklenburg High and three other schools, were all nominated for Wells Fargo Best Musical, and performed a number on the big stage Sunday. Students and ensembles from those south Charlotte schools, as well as Ardrey Kell High, also were nominees in several other categories such as Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Orchestra, but only two schools were named the best in their categories: South Mecklenburg High School won Best Overall Direction and Charlotte Latin School got Best Ensemble/Chorus. Charlotte Christian senior Bethany Klinect also was awarded a yearly $10,000 scholarship up to four years from the Doctor Family Foundation for her talent in the performing arts.
For Emma, she says she couldn’t have won Best Supporting Actress without the support of her directors and peers.
“I honestly don’t think I could have done it without the people behind me,” she said. “I went into it wanting to be the best I can be and that desire to be great and not just to be good. Learning to do that was hard, but I think I knew it would be very rewarding in the end.”