Blumenthal Performing Arts Announces 10th Annual Blumey Award Winners

May 22, 2023 / Press Releases

May 22, 2023 (Charlotte, NC) – The tenth annual Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theater Awards culminated Sunday, May 21, at a gala award celebration where winners in 15 categories were announced and nominees for Best Actor, Best Actress, and Wells Fargo Best Musical performed live on stage at the Belk Theater. The Blumey Awards were presented by Wells Fargo.



(North Lincoln High School performing a selection from Anastasia at the 2023 Blumey Awards)


North Lincoln High School won the Tier 1 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Anastasia. Central Academy of Technology and Arts won the Tier 2 Wells Fargo Best Musical Award for their production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Katie Ruttenberg from Central Academy of Technology and Arts won Best Actress for her portrayal of “Mary Magdalene” in Jesus Christ Superstar. Lance Toppin from Charlotte Country Day School won Best Actor for his portrayal of “Nick Bottom” in Something Rotten.



Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard said, “This year we celebrated ten amazing years of the Blumey Awards! All of the students, teachers, and families should feel proud of their hard work and achievements. The Blumey Awards is definitely one of the best nights in Charlotte each year!”


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(Central Academy of Technology performing a selection from their production of Jesus Christ Superstar at the 2023 Blumey Awards)


Award-winning TV news anchor and reporter, Brigida Mack, emceed the black-tie event. Among the award presenters and special guests were Nick de la Canal (WFAE), Thomas Laub (two-time Blumey Awards Best Actor nominee and Broadway producer), Ashani Smith (Assistant Stage Manager for the national Broadway tour of Jagged Little Pill and former Blumey Awards Student Critic), Nicholas Rodriguez (Broadway Dreams; Broadway’s Company), Kate McCracken (2021 and 2022 Blumey Awards Best Actress winner), Jared Garcia (2022 Blumey Awards Best Actor winner), and Michelle Lee (Head of Branch Banking, Wells Fargo).

2023 Blumey Award winners:

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 1 (Musical production budget of under $10,000)
North Lincoln High School – Anastasia

Wells Fargo Best Musical – Tier 2 (Musical production budget of $10,000 and greater)

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Actress

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Katie Ruttenberg as Mary Magdalene – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Actor

Charlotte Country Day School – Lance Toppin as Nick Bottom – Something Rotten

Best Supporting Actress

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Natalie Hough as Pontius Pilate – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Supporting Actor
Weddington High School – Josh Moraja as Wickersham/Schmitz/Yertle – Seussical

Best Featured Performer
Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Lana Patel as King Herod – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Overall Direction

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Ensemble/Chorus
Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Choreography Execution
Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Student Orchestra

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Student Costume Designer

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Mallory Caballero – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Student Set Designer

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Hannah Cook – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Student Stage Manager

Central Academy of Technology and Arts – Margo Smith – Jesus Christ Superstar

Best Student Critic
West Cabarrus High School – Aminah Imran

Along with The Blumey Awards themselves, three students were awarded college scholarships. The Mary Doctor Fine Arts Scholarship annually benefits two graduating high school seniors within the Charlotte region who are preparing to pursue a degree in the arts. Scholarships are typically $10,000 and are annually renewable during a student’s four-year undergraduate program. This year, the Mary Doctor scholarship committee selected Laura Grace Dhillon from Rock Hill High School and Melody Saxton from Mallard Creek High School. Laura Grace has been accepted into the BFA program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Melody will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), pursuing an undergraduate degree in Film and Television, both starting this fall semester. 

The Gordon Hay Scholarship Committee selected Eli Dills from Gaston Day School as the 2022 scholarship recipient. Each year, a deserving high school senior or college freshman or sophomore is selected to receive this unique $5,000 scholarship. The award is not for tuition, class fees, or living expenses, but for special learning opportunities related to the recipient’s career interest in a nonperformance discipline within the performing arts (e.g. lighting and sound design, set design, costume design, stage management, etc.). Eli is currently in the School of Design & Production focusing on scenic design at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) with a goal of working professionally in technical theater after graduation. 

This year’s Gordon Hay scholarship application deadline is June 1, 2023. High school seniors as well as college freshmen and sophomores are eligible to apply. Information can be found at

The gala celebration was a highlight of the competition, which started in January when local schools began presenting their annual musical theater productions. Each school’s musical was viewed and evaluated by a panel of three judges, who awarded points according to detailed guidelines. 

The Blumey Awards is produced by Blumenthal Performing Arts and is presented by Wells Fargo. The Doctor Family Foundation, The Leon Levine Foundation, Sync Storage Solutions, and Page Power Systems provide additional support. Charlotte joins more than 40 other cities, including Pittsburgh, Houston, and Atlanta, in hosting annual high school musical theater awards programs.


(2023 Blumey Awards Best Actress nominees) 


“Wells Fargo was the inaugural corporate underwriter for this performing arts program in 2012,” said Rodrick Banks, Senior Community Relations Consultant for Wells Fargo. “The Blumeys are all about showcasing the amazing talent of students in our region. It’s a ‘Glee meets the Tonys at the intersection of Fame’ kind of evening. We are thrilled to be part of the tenth anniversary!”

Like the Tony Awards®, The Blumey Awards Ceremony features a performance by each of the six nominated schools in the best musical category, a medley of performances by the six nominees for Best Actor and for Best Actress, and an opening and closing number that features two students from each of the forty-seven participating schools.



(2023 Blumey Awards Best Actor nominees)

New York–based composer and Grammy nominated orchestrator David Dabbon returned as music director and orchestrator. He has served as the music director since the inaugural Blumey Awards ceremony in 2012. New York–based dancer and filmmaker Maxx Reed (Broadway’s Spiderman: Turn off the Dark; Beyonce’s “Who Run the World (Girls)” music video) choreographed the event.

The schools that competed this year included: A.L. Brown High School, Ardrey Kell High School, Bandys High School, Cannon School, Carmel Christian School, Central Academy of Technology and Arts, Central Cabarrus High School, Charlotte Christian School, Charlotte Country Day School, Charlotte Latin School, Christ the King Catholic High School, Concord Academy, Cox Mill High School, Cuthbertson High School, David W. Butler High School, Davidson Day School, East Lincoln High School, East Mecklenburg High School, Fort Mill High School, Gaston Christian School, Hickory Ridge High School, Hopewell High School, Independence High School, Kings Mountain High School, Lake Norman High School, Lincolnton High School, Mooresville High School, Mountain Island Charter School, North Gaston High School, North Lincoln High School, North Mecklenburg High School, Northwest Cabarrus High School, Northwest School of the Arts, Northwestern High School, Piedmont Community Charter School, Porter Ridge High School, Providence Day School, Providence High School, Shelby High School, South Iredell High School, South Mecklenburg High School, South Pointe High School, Stuart W. Cramer High School, Weddington High School, West Cabarrus High School, Westminster Catawba Christian School, and William A. Hough High School.

For more information:

For photos and interview requests, contact Rachel Peterson,


Blumenthal Performing Arts serves the Carolinas as a leading cultural, entertainment and education provider. For more information, call (704) 372-1000 or visit Blumenthal Performing Arts receives support from the Infusion Fund and the North Carolina Arts Council. Generous support is also provided by PNC Bank, sponsor of the PNC Broadway Lights series, and Equitable, sponsor of the Equitable Bravo Series.


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