Oneida High School to compete for awards for ‘Les Miserables’

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ONEIDA — Students and staff at Oneida High School have earned eight nominations from the Syracuse Media Group for their production of the musical “Les Miserables” March 31 and April 1, and will make their case this Sunday while performing the song “One More Day” before a panel of judges at the Landmark Theater in Syracuse.

“This is the third year the Syracuse Media Group has reviewed local schools and the first year Oneida has participated,” John Zamperetti, who teaches 10th-grade social studies at Oneida and who served as producer and stage manager, said. “It’s great that we received this many nominations our first year.”

The nominations include Brett Bogardus, who has been nominated for Best Director. She is a veteran stage director who owns and operates Bogardus Performing Arts Center in Oneida. “Brett was given total artistic control of the musical and she did a fine job,” Zamperetti said.

The production’s nomination for Best Music Director results from the efforts of Oneida Music teacher Carol Allison Best “She was responsible for teaching the vocal styles used in the songs, and is a veteran teacher who gave her best to the musical,” Zamperetti said.

Best Actor nominee Kevin Spooner played Jean Valjean. “Les Miserables” tells the story of Valjean, who is released from prison after 19 years for trying to steal bread. He has been eluding the cruel lawman Javert and raising the orphan girl Cosette while rebuilding his life in post-revolutionary France.

Spooner, a senior, is an accomplished trumpet player who will study vocal music performance at Eastman School of Music in Rochester and psychology at the University of Rochester. His goals include music performance and also careers in teaching and music therapy.

Senior Jordan O’Connell plays Javert and has also been nominated for Best Actor. Best actress Sarah Paul, a sophomore, is nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her small but pivotal performance as Fantine. “Sarah did a terrific job in just four scenes,” Zamperetti said.

Several Oneida students share the nomination for Best Ensemble. “We have 35 total cast members, and they go from prisoners to royalty,” Zamperetti said. “For a background cast, they have to assume a lot of different characteristics.”

The cast also share a nomination for best song. “One More Day” is an anthem of hope that plays at the end of the musical’s first act.

Zamperetti and his crew have received a nomination for Best Production. This is Zamperetti’s first year as producer and has used his experience as stage manager to help lead his crew.

“I was responsible for ticket sales and quality of the production,” he said. “I was stage manager the past few years,and I’m glad to be involved as producer. I’m a teacher, and a parent, and this has been a positive experience for our students.”

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