NEW YORK – NEW YORK (AP) — Five students have won college scholarships for trading in their performances in high school musical productions for Broadway.
On Monday, 44 students performed songs from roles they played in their high school musical at New York City's Marquis Theatre, home of the Broadway show "Come Fly Away."
Each "Jimmy" award winner received $10,000 toward their education and the prospect of additional funds if they attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Three other students were given $2,500 scholarships for their performances.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
NEW YORK (AP) — Katie Finan always dreamed of stepping out onto a Broadway stage. She's now getting her chance, thanks to a scholarship competition.
"Life goal accomplished — 18 years old," said Finan, of Raleigh, N.C. "I'm going to have to get some new goals."
Finan is one of 44 students vying to be named best high school actor or actress on Monday night at the second National High School Music Theater Awards at the Marquis Theatre. They will compete by singing selections from roles they played in high school productions this year.
Judges will pick six finalists and select a top actor and actress to win the "Jimmy" award, named for theater owner James Nederlander, whose company is a co-sponsor of the event. The award comes with a $5,000 scholarship to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
The students arrived in New York last week and have been rehearsing every day. They learned music and choreography for their own songs and their peers', for which they'll perform as backup singers and dancers.
"We're working our butts off every single minute of every day," said John Jorge, 18, of Norwich, Conn., who is singing a song from "Les Miserables." Jorge missed his high school graduation so he could compete.
"This is one of those things I had to go to," he said. "I'm probably never going to get to experience this ever again."
The students will also join the cast and musicians of "Come Fly Away" to pay tribute to Frank Sinatra, whose music is the soundtrack for the show currently playing at the Marquis.
During their trip, the students took in the Broadway show "Memphis" and spoke with the cast after the performance. They will perform for casting director Bernie Telsey, who is one of the award's judges, on Tuesday.
"We're trying to give these kids an authentic, meaningful, professional experience," said Van Kaplan, president of the awards organization and the show's director. "If they decide they want to pursue this as a career, they will have had kind of a taste of it."
Despite the grueling rehearsal schedule, Stephanie Styles of Houston hopes to pursue a career as a musical theater actress.
"You teach people, you entertain them, you can do so much with a musical," said Styles, 18. "And you get to sing and dance and act."