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Miami’s New World School of the Arts has a richly deserved reputation for turning out talented graduates in a variety of disciplines.
Now this downtown public school has hit a new milestone for success.
“We have five students who got accepted into Juilliard,” said principal Jason Allen.
Five from a single graduating class. Five seniors from New World were accepted to the most famous performing arts college in the nation, the Juilliard School in New York.
Even at NWSA, where every student has to audition to get in, this has never happened before. The previous record was three.
“Really speaks to the commitment they have, who they are as individuals, they never stop trying to perfect their craft,” Allen said.
The five students include a piano virtuoso who also sings baritone, a bassoonist, a violist, and two dancers. That’s significant because Juilliard only accepts 24 dancers per year, 12 boys and 12 girls, from the worldwide pool of applicants.
“My main dream is to be a professional orchestral bassoonist,” said Julian Gonzalez, who also has dreams of recording his own solo album.
“I would love to be a professional dancer and join a concert dance company,” said Shoshana Sklar, who added that she hopes it’s a company that travels the world.
Jamaii Melvin said his post-Juilliard plans are still fluid. “Whether it’s being a choreographer or an artistic director for a company, but dancing right now is the main goal,” he explained.
“I want to be an opera singer,” said Anthony Josep, the baritone, who turned down Juilliard in favor of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
“Playing chamber music, solo, orchestral, other genres, I want to be able to do it all,” said Jack Kessler, the viola player, who also turned down Juilliard.
Jack will be the first NWSA graduate to attend the extremely selective Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
Of course, they’re talented but talent alone didn’t get these kids to this level, it took an insane amount of hard work, along with expert nurturing and coaching at New World.
“It’s a nonstop group effort, all day long, seven days a week, really, and the kids put the time in and they’re committed and it’s really about them and who they are as people,” Allen said. “They’re all in, it’s like their slogan, they’re all in no matter what they do and the kids support each other.”
They’re brilliant perfectionists, another example of talent and work ethic paying dividends.