Tracy Harmon, a Westminster College sophomore theatre and elementary education major from Pittsburgh, was recently awarded a full scholarship to the Ann Reinking Broadway Theatre Project by Ben Vereen.
"I met Ben Vereen backstage before his concert for a Celebrity Series event at Westminster," Harmon said. "He has been a role model in theatre for as long as I can remember. At first I was too nervous to approach him, but he stood up and asked me for a hug. It was one of my favorite moments in my life. I started to cry.
"We talked for a little while about how much of a fan I am of his and Bob Fosse's work," Harmon said. "He asked me how old I was and what I was doing this summer. When I told him I was part of the Cedar Point Raptor roller coaster crew, he asked me to give my information to his assistant. You never know,' he said."
Two days later, Harmon was awakened by a call on her cell phone.
"It was Ben Vereen calling me!" Harmon exclaimed. "He told me that he wanted to send me to the Ann Reinking Broadway Theatre Project in Tampa, Florida, on a full scholarship without an audition. I was stunned. It felt like Christmas."
The Broadway Theatre Project is a three-week, intensive musical theatre training programs. Students, or apprentices as they are referred to in class, attend classes in acting, dance, and voice seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. that are taught by Broadway, theatre, and film professionals from around the world. Only about 150 students are accepted from around the country.
"It's a camp' to help Broadway hopefuls strengthen and prepare themselves for musical theatre careers," Harmon said.
The program culminates in a performance in the state of the art Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
"I was told that I was one of only three or four persons given this opportunity in the past ten years by Ben Vereen. It's a big honor," Harmon said. "I only wish my mother, who was my foundation for my interest in musical theatre, would be alive to hear this great news. I know she'd be as grateful as I am to Mr. Vereen because she was a great fan of his."
Harmon, a theatre and elementary education major, is a daughter of Jeffrey and the late Joan Harmon, Pittsburgh, and is a graduate of Penn Hills High School.
Westminster College offers a variety of both day and evening summer classes beginning June 12.
Westminster's Summer Session is designed to offer a sampling of courses from the Westminster Plan Curriculum. Taught by Westminster faculty, these courses parallel the content and structure of courses taught during the traditional academic year and credits are transferable to other institutions.
This year's offerings include a variety of sciences, art, education, English, political science, mathematics, music, photography, philosophy, physics, psychology, Spanish, and writing classes. Go to www.westminster.edu/summer for a complete listing of classes.
Students can register online or call Carol Yova, director of continuing education and lifelong learning, at (724) 946-7353 or toll free 1-888-378-2779. Registration will also be accepted at the Continuing Education Office located in the McKelvey Campus Center rooms 267 and 268 until June 12.
Contact Yova at (724) 946-7353 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Westminster College is participating in Independent 529 Plan, a new prepaid college tuition plan tailored specifically for private colleges. Responding to a national call to make higher education more affordable and more acceptable to students, Westminster College has joined with more than 200 other private colleges and universities across the country to offer an income tax-advantaged way for families to save for tuition.
Raymond H. Ocock, professor of music emeritus at Westminster College, was recently recognized as the newest honorary member of the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM).
David M. Bailey, Christian music artist and cancer survivor, will perform at Westminster College Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8:30 p.m. in Beeghly Theater.
Adam Gould, founder of the Kenya Children Project, will speak about "Finding Hope in Brokenness" at the 20th annual Christy Lecture Sunday, April 29, at 7 p.m. in Wallace Memorial Chapel.
Delores Natale, Westminster College lecturer in public relations, chaired the Eudora Welty session at the annual conference of the South Central Modern Language Association held Nov. 1-3 in Memphis.
Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an internationally recognized expert on environmental links to cancer and reproductive health, will present "Contaminated without Consent: How Chemical Pollutants in Our Food and Water Violate Human Rights" Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in Orr Auditorium.
Zoe Anthony, a Westminster College senior religion major, received a travel/presentation grant from Westminster's Drinko Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning to make a presentation at the Undergraduate Mid-South Philosophy conference April 16-19 in Memphis, Tenn.
The Westminster College Symphony Orchestra will present its winter concert Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 p.m. in Orr Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
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