New World School of the Arts 30th Anniversary “Rising Stars” showcase brings home distinguished alumni from across the nation

Fri 31 Mar, 2017

New World Gallery, Olympia Theater, New World Dance Theater

New World School of the Arts, Miami’s premier arts conservatory once again presents its most acclaimed event of the year – Rising Stars – in celebration of the school’s 30th Anniversary. This high-energy, Broadway-style extravaganza is an unmatched platform to highlight distinguished alumni who have returned home this year to recognize the school’s success and to share their own career achievements in Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual Arts. This showcase is also the perfect venue for the community to experience the artistry that is fostered and nurtured at the downtown arts conservatory.

Founded in 1984, New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. Representing the three educational institutions that made NWSA a reality more than three decades ago, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and the University of Florida will be recognized on-stage as will be Bank of America – an institution that has demonstrated its commitment to NWSA and support of arts education in our community since New World School of the Arts opened its doors to the community in 1986.

During a special segment of the evening, leaders of NWSA’s partner institutions will be presented a special gift celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the school. Expected to be in attendance during the Rising Stars Performance at the Olympia Theater is Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent, Alberto M. Carvalho; Miami Dade College President, Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón; and W. Kent Fuchs, President of University of Florida.

Rising Stars Visual Arts Exhibition
March 31, 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

25 NE 2nd Street, downtown Miami, FL 33132
Exhibition is Free and open to the public

Rising Stars Performing Arts Showcase
March 31, 7:00 pm

174 E. Flagler Street, downtown Miami, FL 33132
Tickets: $50, $30, $20
Performance tickets available: or
Information at 305-237-3135

Rising Stars 30th Anniversary Celebration
March 31, Immediately after the Performance

New World Dance Theater. 25 NE 2nd Street, 8th Floor, downtown Miami, FL 33132
Tickets: $300 – $500 – VIP tickets: or 305-237-3502

VIP tickets include Exhibition, Performance with welcoming cocktails, VIP Celebration with complimentary champagne at the New World Gallery, complimentary parking, and complimentary transportation between Olympia Theater and New World School of the Arts.

Rising Stars Program

With an exciting program that includes a vibrant and diverse art exhibition at the New World Gallery, followed by performance excerpts of renowned works in dance, music and theater at the Olympia Theater, the showcase will capture the artistic heart and soul of its guests. With excerpts from the performing arts divisions, the evening will highlight the work of world-renowned choreographers including Robert Battle’s work, Promenade: “ … an urgent group work set to urgent, terrifically dancy music by John Mackey… a high-energy workout shot through with wittiness” according to NY Times dance critic Jennifer Dunning, reviewing the work in 2006. Robert Battle, the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, is a New World School of the Arts alumnus and former director of his own dance company, Battleworks. An excerpt from Annabelle Lopez-Ochoa’s exuberant work, Nube Blanco, set to the music of Maria Dolores Pradera’s voice will bring the flavor of Spain onto the stage. Lopez-Ochoa is a Colombian-Belgian choreographer who has recently created commissioned works for the Ballet Nacional of Cuba, the New York City Ballet Company, and New York City’s Ballet Hispanico. Paul Taylor’s work Promethean Fire, described by New York Times’ Anna Kisselgoff as having, “grandeur, majesty and a spiritual dimension. It is also quite simply one of the best dance works choreographed by Paul Taylor.”  Set to the music of Johan Sebastian Bach, this commanding dance for sixteen dancers will take the audience in a journey of great beauty and power while introducing them to powerful elements of destruction. Also on the program is the work, SEIZE, by sought-after New York City choreographer whose style has been described as “ferocious yet vulnerable, showcasing both the dancers’ athletic prowess and raw honesty” (Dance News Desk, Broadway World, 9/13). Led by maestro Alfred Gershfeld, the Olympia orchestra pit will come alive with the fast-paced and ever-popular Mambo from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, performed by the NWSA Symphony Orchestra. Later in the program, Brent Mounger takes the baton to direct the NWSA Wind Ensemble in David Maslanka’s joyful Symphony No. 2 (3rd movement,) while the New World School of the Arts’ award-winning Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Gasior, jazzes up the evening with their energetic Jazz improvisation. With the ominous Devil scene from Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day, the audience will be transported to a pre-WWII Berlin flat, where Husz conjures the Devil himself to Agne’s apartment for an almost comical yet thought-provoking dialogue that resonates with today’s political climate. In spite of its sinister plot, Jekyll & Hyde [the musical] will offer a more upbeat scene as the college music theater ensemble highlights the reality of society’s personality dichotomy with Façade. A series of intermittent monologues and other selections from high school theater presentations performed on stage this year will round off the NWSA theater division performances.

The evening will culminate with a grand VIP 30th Anniversary Celebration at New World School of the Arts where VIP ticket holders including art enthusiasts, supporters, friends and family will be welcomed to join New World School of the Arts in a champagne toast for many more years of academic and artistic success, followed by a VIP reception and finally with a dessert and coffee bar under the stars.

Special thank you to our sponsors: Bank of America, Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, HSBC, Bacardi USA, Inc., 1 First Bank of Florida, Ehrenstein Charbonneau Calderin Attorneys at Law, and WLRN.

NWSA Rising Stars Alumnus Awards

In celebration of its 30th Year, New World School of the Arts will recognize four NWSA alumni – one from each of the arts divisions – with the NWSA 2017 Rising Stars Alumnus Award. Presented to artistically successful alumni of the NWSA high school or college programs, the candidates for this special recognition have been selected by NWSA administration along with the deans of each of the four arts divisions, by evaluating their artistic achievements as well as their growth and development as artists. The following distinguished alumni will take center stage as they return to their alma mater to receive this coveted honor from the hands of their respective dean. Gaby Diaz (NWSA Dance), Mauricio Cespedes (NWSA Music), Randall Emmett (NWSA Theater) and Adler Guerrier (NWSA Visual Arts).

Gaby Diaz (NWSA High School 2014, Dance)

Miami dancer Gaby Diaz, a trained ballet and tap dancer who began her dance training at the young age of 3, won season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance, becoming the first tap dancer to take home the honor in 2015. She began her dance training with Jillian Torgas-Leyva at the Roxy Performing Arts Center and graduated from the New World School of the Arts High School in 2014.  Gaby has also performed in Jennifer Lopez’s Las Vegas show, “All I Have” and most recently, she was seen as an All Star on “So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation” as well as headlining the “Shaping Sound” Fall tour.

Mauricio Cespedes (NWSA College /BM 2005, Music)

As a chamber musician, Dr. Mauricio Cespedes has performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, South and North America and has been featured at the Aspen, Mimir, and Sewanee music festivals, and at the Michigan Chamber Music Society. Dr. Cespedes has collaborated with notable artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Charles Pikler, Glenn Dicterow, Cynthia Phelps, Suren Bagratuni, Randolph Kelly, Jonathan Crow, Robert DeMaine, Seunghee Lee, Susana Perry Gilmore, Anton Neil, Roger Benedict, Colin Jacobsen, Stefan Jackiw, Zoya Leybin, and Richard Tognetti. Currently, Dr. Cespedes serves as principal violist of the Orlando Philharmonic. Previously, he served as principal violist for the, Lansing, Bolivian National, Miami and New Word School of the Arts Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Ash Lawn Opera Company. One of his most memorable performances was with members of the New York Philharmonic at the Millennium Concert at Lincoln Center in New York. In 2011, Dr. Cespedes won an international competition to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra to perform at the Sydney Opera House in Australia. He has collaborated with composers such as Mason Bates, Stella Sung, Ellen Tafte Zwilich (Naxos Recording), and John Williams. As a conductor, Dr. Cespedes conducts the Chamber Orchestra at a Gift for Music and the Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra where he is in charge of the Chamber Ensemble and Prelude Orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has conducted the Orlando Philharmonic, Stetson University Orchestra, and the New Score Chamber Orchestra.

Randall Emmett (NWSA High School 1989, Theater)

One of the entertainment industry’s most prolific film producers, Randall Emmett has produced over 85 feature films since his start as Mark Wahlberg’s assistant in the 1990s. Combining financial acumen with an incisive creative sensibility, Emmett is partner and co-founder alongside George Furla of Emmett / Furla Films, a production company dedicated to the development, financing and production of top tier filmed entertainment for the theatrical marketplace with its own equity fund. He is also founder and partner of Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson’s production company, Cheetah Vision Films. Additionally, he launched a TV division, with the first series Rescue 3 and Power, which premiered in 2013 & 2014 respectively. In the last decade, Emmett’s ability to package films with well-known actors and filmmakers resulted in major box office success – netting more than a quarter of a billion dollars in the U.S. box office alone. Additionally, he forged strong partnerships with major Hollywood studios to finance and distribute commercial films to domestic and international audiences. Aside from high concept films, Emmett also produced smaller, critically acclaimed indie fare such as Narc and Wonderland. These films and others played at world acclaimed film festivals such as Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, Telluride, and many have been nominated for Independent Spirit Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Currently, Emmett wrapped production on 3 upcoming titles: The Life And Death Of John Gotti starring John Travolta; First Kill with Bruce Willis and Hayden Christensen and Inconceivable starring Nicolas Cage and Gina Gershon. In the last year, Emmett produced Heist starring Robert DeNiro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kate Bosworth; Marauders starring Christopher Meloni, Adrian Grenier and Bruce Willis. Additionally, Emmett executive produced the hit Starz TV series Power, nominated for a NAACP award. This past December, he released the highly anticipated film Silence directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Liam Neeson, Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver. Other films he produced and were released include the hit film Lone Survivor starring Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch directed by Peter Berg, Broken City, starring Oscar winner Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg and Oscar winner Catherine Zeta Jones; the critically acclaimed End Of Watch, written and directed by David Ayer, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña; Lay The Favorite, with two-time Oscar nominated director Stephen Frears. Past films include Freelancers, Bad Lieutenant, Righteous Kill, 88 Minutes, King Of California, 16 Blocks and The Contract. Born and raised in Miami, Emmett graduated from the respected performing arts high school, New World School of the Arts. As an undergrad, he attended the prestigious The School of Visual Arts in NYC where he found his calling as a producer. Presently, he speaks at various industry conferences and mentors up and coming filmmakers at UCLA’s School of Continuing Education. He lives in Los Angeles with his family.

Adler Guerrier (NWSA College/BFA 2000, Visual Arts)

A Miami-based artist, Adler Guerrier works in a variety of media including sculpture, photography, prints, and collaged works on paper. Guerrier’s practice investigates the mutability of text and image and the variability of meaning. He is as interested in politics as he is in poetics, and his work explores the rich territory between them. Often using Miami as a physical site and an embodiment of realized (and unrealized) moments in American political and social history, Guerrier examines, repurposes, and sometimes fictionalizes the city through his work. Solo exhibitions include; Perez Art Museum, Miami; David Castillo Gallery, Miami; Newman- Popiashvili Gallery, New York; Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami and Africavenir in Berlin. In 2008 Guerrier was selected for the Whitney Museum Biennial.

About NWSA

New World School of the Arts was conceived in 1984 when the Florida State Legislature established the institution to provide artistically talented high school and college students the means to achieve both an academic education and artistic training. In September 1986, NWSA opened its doors to students in grades ten through twelve and in 1987 admitted the first class of college BFA students. NWSA’s audition-based programs are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. New World School of the Arts offers the high school diploma the AA college degree as well as a four-year BFA or BM degrees and it boasts alumni on Broadway, Grammy winners, dancers in companies like Alvin Ailey, and regarded visual artists exhibiting internationally including ArtBasel.

New World School of the Arts
25 NE 2nd Street
Miami, FL 33132
Ph: 305.237.3135