Ten schools from Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, and Allegany counties were recently selected to participate in the 26th annual Kenny Awards at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. For Niagara-Wheatfield students it was their first time attending, and a memorable one at that.
The Kenny was created in 1993 in honor of the late Dr. Ken Lipke, the founder of Gibraltar Steel. Since then, hundreds of outstanding musical productions from local high schools have been recognized and honored by the Kenny Awards.
After an extensive application and interview process last fall, Niagara-Wheatfield High School’s musical, Sister Act, nominated in seven categories and took home awards for Outstanding Orchestral Performance and the Blossom Cohan Award. The Niagara-Wheatfield Pit Orchestra is under the direction of Mrs. Christine Riederer.
“It just goes to show what great talent there is in Niagara-Wheatfield’s Music Department. I am so proud of these students for their hard work, dedication and professionalism,” Riederer said.
In addition, the show would not have been possible without the help from the parents, student directors and the N-W Music Parents Club, Riederer noted.
The Kenny Awards recognized Abby Poczciwinski as the winner of the Blossom Cohan Award, which is given to a performer who “blossoms” in a minor role. David Curtis, Darla Bubar, Allie Bubar, Jaclyn Dimino, Nicholas Azzarella, Peter Green and all of the students should be commended for their hard work the production team said.