Students and Faculty Take Talents to Costa Rica

Students were joined by HPU professors Scott Macleod, back left, and Ben Blozan, back right.

Students were joined by HPU professors Scott Macleod, back left, and Ben Blozan, back right.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 21, 2016 – For the third year, three students from High Point University participated in the highly selective Promising Artists Program in Costa Rica and took the stage during a week of musical performances.

The Promising Artists program started in 1986 and is recognized by the U.S. State Department. Each year, The Costa Rica Centro Cultural invites students from top-tier institutions considered among the best from the U.S. to spend the week performing, teaching classes and gaining cultural experiences.

After receiving an exclusive invitation to participate, sophomore Laura Carskadden, senior Laura Hutchins and sophomore Rowan Grieb participated in classes at La Colmena, Costa Rican Musical Theatre Training Institute, held mini-performances and took time to explore the country.

They were joined by Dr. Scott MacLeod, assistant professor of voice, and Dr. Ben Blozan, adjunct instructor of piano, for performances at numerous venues, including a benefit concert at Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

MacLeod says that these students were chosen because of their talent, work ethic, ability to sing demanding songs and for specific roles in the show. He says they also consistently demonstrate a level of character and values that reflect well on High Point University and U.S.-based arts programs.

“I was very proud of this group; they performed at a high level throughout the tour and served as excellent ambassadors for our university and our nation,” says MacLeod. “Dr. Ben Blozan accompanied all performances and classes, and he too was in top form during the entire trip.”

From left to right, Grieb, Hutchins, Carskadden and Blozan tour the National Theatre of Costa Rica.

From left to right, Grieb, Hutchins, Carskadden and Blozan tour the National Theatre of Costa Rica.

Hutchins says she is grateful for the opportunity and it’s an experience she will always remember.

“One of the coolest parts was getting to know students in Costa Rica,” says Hutchins. “They had opportunities to see us perform and we got to sit in on a masterclass with them. They don’t have much access to live musicals in their country, but they were extremely passionate and attentive.”

Grieb says that performing in Costa Rica was not only a life changing cultural experience where he saw how different societies interact and operate, but a chance to gain life skills.

“Our performance tour offered a unique opportunity to be treated as a professional performer and learn what it would be like to live as a performer,” says Grieb. “I am so very grateful for this opportunity and cannot express my thanks enough to the school and to everyone that made this tour possible.”

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