What people are saying about the Tommy Awards...
WHAT AN AMAZING NIGHT!!! After thoroughly enjoying another fantastic TOMMY AWARD show...I have to tell you both how proud and thankful I feel this morning! Proud--to be a theatre educator in Wisconsin and it is nights like last night watching all of those incredible, enthusiastic kids that make me remember how worthy our profession's work truly is! Thankful--that people like you two and ALL THE AMAZING OVERTURE CENTER STAFF who worked so hard for SO long to make the TOMMY's a reality each year, care as much as you do about those kids to take the time to do this for them every year...I am overwhelmed!
-Thomas Klubertanz, Director, Oconomowoc High School
Each of the award winning performers deserved the limelight you provided for them. Unlike athletes in the high school culture, musical participants don’t often receive the accolades they so richly deserve. For them, and their families, it is a special evening. Personally, I am most moved by support and encouragement the performers displayed for each other. There seemed to be no sense of ego as the audience eagerly anticipated and appreciated every number. Everyone there was bonded together by a true love of musical theatre. The feeling was palpable. You created that.
-Peter Diedrich, Director, Evansville High School
It really was true when we sang, "We're a special kind of people known as show people." The community of people that I knew and the new friends I have made this weekend are truly some of the most incredible people I know. Being onstage in a wonderful location like the Overture Center, where I've seen so many incredible performances was amazing. To think that some of my favorite Broadway performers have used that stage is kind of crazy. Singing and dancing up there was such a thrill. And it is always amazing to see what other schools have to bring. It was incredible. I was brought to tears by some performances. I can't wait to hear the names of these people someday on Broadway. Regardless if I win an award or not next year, I can't wait to attend the ceremony! Thank you so much for starting the Tommy Awards, and for giving me this opportunity and believing in my performance! It is truly an incredible program!
-Sierra Bingham, 2012 Tommy Award recipient
The Tommy Awards at The Overture Center for the Arts are a wonderful way to recognize and celebrate the incredible amount of talent in our schools. They reward excellence in every area of the musical theater genre while also providing detailed and constructive criticism to each production, helping the students and directors alike obtain a new understanding of ways to improve. As participants for the second year, my students now have a greater appreciation for the hard work of their peers. Many have even made new friends from neighboring schools during the rehearsal process and ceremony! What a joy it has been to be a part of the first two years of The Tommy Awards! I know I speak for myself, my students and our community when I say that you can count on us for year three!
-Ben Schrank, Janesville Craig High School
We so very much enjoyed seeing all the talented kids perform so much great music. Some of us in our group in the audience decided we need to start attending the musicals at more of the schools in our area. Fantastic awards show! Thanks!
-Jeanne Hacker Cargill, parent
Wow! Once again you and your staff did a superb job in planning, organizing, and executing what is a monumental task in the Tommy Awards ceremony. What an in credible experience for all of the kids and audience members. An evening of sheer perfection. The students at Monona Grove high school were so excited to be coming back for a second year. They enjoyed themselves even more than last year, and that was hard to top. Thank you for all of your hard work and for helping the Wisconsin communities realize how important excellence in the arts is.
-Taras Nahirniak, Monona Grove High School
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for making me a part of the Tommy Awards. I am so honored and humbled being recognized with such great artists. I witnessed how the Tommy Awards are impacting students’ lives and yes, not to sound sappy, but impacting us adults as well in such a positive manner. With all the budget cuts going on in our state with education and the arts, the Tommy Awards are a reminder at how important musical theatre is to us as a community and a culture.
-Jim Tropp, Janesville Parker High School
Just a note to congratulate you on another extraordinary iteration of the Tommy Awards. The energy was infectious. The production was top-notch. And the talent of those exceptional high school students had an ideal setting to shine.
-Andrew Taylor, Bolz Center for Arts Administration
My favorite part of the show was performing with all of my friends, including new friends. Everyone is so musically/theatrically talented it’s kind of ridiculous. :) Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to sing a solo on that amazing stage. I will never forget it. Thanks again!
-Tyler Block, 2011 Tommy Award winner
I thought the show was great. It was fun to watch it through all of our students' eyes since the whole cast was there this year and hear their thoughts. Our principal was there and he was so excited (you need to understand that he is a former athletic director) that he made a huge announcement congratulating our students. The parents were so impressed with all of the talent. I am always so delighted to see how supportive students are of each other's performances.
-Jan Knutson, Janesvile Parker High School
Read about the 2011 Tommy Awards:
Praise for the 2010 Tommy Awards:
My son and I attended the Tommy's last night in Overture Hall and had an absolute blast. My daughter was among the chorus of All Shook Up, so I can testify to the excitement and positive energy of the many high school students selected to perform on that glorious stage. It was not only fun as a performance, but deeply meaningful as a gesture from Overture to the region -- bringing validity and importance to the tireless efforts of these schools, their students, their parents, their teachers and their administration. And the evidence of talent was quite amazing.
I knew you had hit the mark when the man sitting next to me, a stranger, couldn't help but turn to me after an outstanding musical performance to say proudly, "That's' my son."
-Andrew Taylor, Bolz Center for Arts Administration
Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you and everyone at Overture Center know what an ABSOLUTE BLAST our kids, our directorial staff and our parents from Oconomowoc had at the Tommy Awards this past weekend. What an amazing event you and your staff put together! Many of the folks were visiting for the theater for the first time, and they were SO impressed. We all felt like complete royalty -- from the workshops and head shot sessions to the ceremony itself - and that always doesn't happen in the arts. We eagerly await Tommy Awards II, the sequel. Thank you for what you do to help us support the wonderful work going on in theaters all over high schools in Wisconsin.
-Tom Klubertanz & the cast of Into the Woods, Oconomowoc High
The fact that you read actual comments from the reviewers was fantastic, it was touching to hear someone elses wonderful words about the kids we already love and think are amazing. Thank you from the bottom my heart! It was a fitting end to our son's senior year!
-Kelly Galbraith, Fort Atkinson
I loved performing Anything Goes on stage, that was so cool! That stage is huge and when you're up there you feel like a star. It was great! I can't wait for next year!
-Mary Kate Van Wagner, Edgewood High School, Madison
Thank you Overture for the amazing opportunity to perform on this stage! It was an experience I will never forget!
-Tyler James Streich, Lake Mills High School
Thanks to Tom Wopat and the Overture Center for establishing such a wonderful program, acknowledging the talents and hard work of so many performers, directors, choreographers and crew members. I was very impressed with the performers and the program! I look forward to the future of the Tommy's as a landmark program for Wisconsin high school musical theater.
-Julie Rentmeester, Madison
It was amazing to feel all that positive energy in the Overture Center last night! Congratulations to all of the students. You were definitely the winners last night!
-Michael Stanek, Broadway Kidz Wisconzin
Congratulations! Kudos! Applause! The Tommy Awards at the Overture Center last night were incredible. What a wonderful, moving, meaningful celebration of high school musical theater you created! It was thrilling. Truly an experience of a lifetime for the students. The parents around me were wildly enthusiastic.
-Lynda Sharpe, Middleton High School
Read about the program...