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Local youth to perform alongside Broadway professionals in benefit for Niswonger Children's Hospital

staff report • Apr 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Sixteen local youth, along with four special guests straight from the Broadway stage, are preparing for an evening of “sensational” entertainment to benefit Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

The Mountain States Foundation and Consumer Credit Union will host “{One} Singular Sensational Evening {Again}” at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. All proceeds from the event will benefit Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

“This is going to be a truly exciting and memorable evening, not only because of the Broadway stars who will be performing, but because of the singularly sensational kids who were chosen from across the region to participate,” said Cookie McKinney, manager of children’s initiatives for Mountain States Foundation.

The Foundation held a series of auditions earlier this year to recruit young performers from across the 29-county region served by Niswonger Children’s Hospital. Five featured performers and 11 ensemble cast members were chosen from a wide geographic area. All of the finalists received a special tour of Niswonger Children’s Hospital so they could see what their fund-raising efforts would support.

Tickets are still available, and can be purchased from Niswonger Performing Arts Center by calling (423) 638-1679. Adult tickets are $35, and students are $10. All proceeds go to Niswonger Children’s Hospital, the region’s only hospital dedicated solely to the care of children. The 69-bed hospital serves more than 200,000 children in a 29-county region and is home to one of only six St. Jude Affiliate Clinics in the nation. More than 20 pediatric subspecialties are offered, including pediatric emergency medicine, pediatric cardiology, pediatric neurology, neonatology and pediatric surgery.

Local youth performers for {One} Singular Sensational Evening {Again} are Alexis Heath, a student at Hunter Elementary School; Betsy Nicholson, a home school student; Sarah Stollenmaier, a student at Mount Pisgah Academy; Brenna Williams, a student at Providence Academy; and Caedmon Oakes, a student at Highland Elementary School.

The youth ensemble includes Abigail Conde, a student at Rhea Valley Elementary School; Alison Craft, a home school student; Emma Maddux, a student at Nolichuckey Elementary School; Haley Owen, a student at University School; J. Davis Hayman, a student at Science Hill High School; Jules Faith Aiken, a home school student; Laurie Grace Weems, a student at Ottway School; Parker Bunch, a home school student; Sophie Balcells, a student at Ashley Academy; Stephen Cradic, a student at University School; and Emily Vaught, a student at Patrick Henry High School.

The Broadway performers scheduled to lead “{One} Singular Sensational Evening” are Denise DiRenzo, who has performed in “Cats,” “A Chorus Line,” “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Guys and Dolls”; David Elder, who has performed in “White Christmas,” “Curtains,” “42nd Street,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “Once Upon A Mattress”; Gary Mauer, who has performed in “The Phantom of the Opera” in the role of the Phantom, “Les Miserables,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Pirates of Penzance”; and Cary Miller, who has performed in “Saturday Night Fever,” “Little Women” and “Seussical.”

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