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Watchung Hills Pit Orchestra and Chris Valenti Nominated For Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards

Brenda A. Nemcek

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 • 9:20pm

WARREN, NJ -  Watchung Hills pit orchestra and Chris Valenti have received nominations for Paper Mill Playhouse's Rising Star Awards. The pit orchestra was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Orchestra and Mr. Valenti was nominated for Outstanding Lighting Achievement for The Wizard of Oz.
 
Awards are given in areas such as performance, design, direction, choreography, and technical production. Nominees are chosen from almost 100 high schools from all over New Jersey by theater professionals, performing artists, designers, and theater arts educators.
 
Since their inception in 1996, the Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theatre have ignited the careers of many notable performers, all of whom attended high school in New Jersey. Among the early nominees and winners are Academy Award-winner Anne Hathaway (“Les Miserables”), Tony Award winners Laura Benanti (“Gypsy”) and Nikki M. James (“The Book of Mormon”), Tony nominee, Rob McClure (“Chaplin”) and UK Olivier Award nominee Jared Gertner (“The Book of Mormon” - West End).
 
“There is great energy and level of excitement in high school musical theater right now,” said Mark S. Hoebee, Paper Mill Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director. “For many New Jersey high schools, the prestigious honor of a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star nomination is the culmination of their hard work in a high school musical. Many of Paper Mill Playhouse’s Rising Star nominees and winners are now working professionally and have won prestigious industry awards while working in theater and film.” 
 
The 2014 Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards ceremony will take place at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn on Tuesday, June 3, at 7:30 p.m. 
 
Editors Note :Congratulations and recognition  to Mrs. Angela DiIorio, who conducted the pit orchestra, was the musical director for the show and is the choir teacher at Watchung Hills.
 
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