By YIA Staff
“There was a wide range of emotions and ages I had to play,” Hasson said, noting her character ages more than 10 years. “The play is all about slowing down and living your daily life and paying attention to it, even when things seem boring.”
The 18-year-old senior said it was fun to play a different kind of character. Often typecast as the mother, this time she played the love interest.
Hassan, who serves as the student representative on the Youth in Arts board, said her three years with ‘Til Dawn has been excellent training. The Marin Academy senior has applied to 16 colleges and universities and plans to pursue a career in musical theater and acting.
“Without a creative outlet, it’s so hard to focus in any other aspect of life,” she said. “Being able to use the arts to express myself makes me more able to focus academically.”
Hassan also praised ‘Til Dawn director Austin Wilacy, whom she called “an incredible teacher.” Austin is a professional singer and songwriter who performs and records as a solo artist and with Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. The House Jacks.
“I can’t even put into words how having him as a mentor has changed me and changed my life,” she said.
A cappella music filled the Osher Marin JCC on December 27th as 17 current ‘Til Dawn members and more than 40 alumni (Still Dawn) took the stage to perform for 140 guests at this year’s SING OUT! Alums Matt Herrero and Lilan Kane headlined this year’s concert, which raised over $6,000 for ‘Til Dawn Scholarships, our biggest most successful SING OUT to date! The event started at 8pm, and ‘Til Dawn & Still Dawn were still singing songs from their repertoire at 10:30. What a fun evening!
We were also excited that our generous audience helped us “make to to 2019″ by donating or pledging $2019 in honor of the new year–thank you so much to all who made this possible.
This year, ‘Til Dawn alum James Barton designed a “Fillmore-style” concert poster to sell at the event. Thanks to our generous poster sponsors, The Herrero Family and Black Cat Studio for helping us raise more scholarship funds.
Drinks, dessert and raffle proceeds also went to support scholarships. Thank you to our wonderful food and beverage sponsors:Sophie James Winery Lagunitas Brewery YIA Board Treasurer, Tim Distler Montagne Russe Wines Marin Kombucha Trader Joe’s Johnny’s Doughnuts Arizmendi Bakery United Market
Youth in Arts is able to offer up to 100% scholarship aid to any student who passes the audition process, thanks to generous donors like these. You can still DONATE to support the scholarship fund or text SING to 41444.
San Domenico School senior Will Noyce hasn’t graduated yet – and he’s already a professional filmmaker with a prestigious prize.
Noyce, 17, is one of eight finalists for the National YoungArts Cinematic Arts finalists with the National YoungArts Foundation. Noyce won with his poetic 10-minute film, “The Redwood Grove.” You can watch the film here. This month he will take an all-expenses paid trip to the National YoungArts Foundation in Miami, where he will take master classes, mingle with other young filmmakers and compete for cash prizes.
“It’s really important and super cool for people to see that you can be awarded for the arts as well as academics and sports,” Noyce said. The film is about a man who lives alone with his dog and is seeking closure after the loss of his wife. The film was shown at the Mill Valley Film Festival this year and was a semi-finalist at the Newark IFF Youth Festival. It also won first place in the student filmmakers’ showcase at the Lark Theater.
Noyce started making films as a nine-year-old after getting hooked on filmmaking at a summer camp. His current film stars his high school film/video production teacher, Jared Spires. He directed “The Redwood Grove” with August Mesarchik, who also wrote the score; the screenplay was written by Aiden Kwasneski.
When he’s not making music with his band or at school, he might be found at Youth In Arts, where he is a member of the a cappella ensemble, ‘ Til Dawn. He also works twice a week at Where The Buffalo Roam, a production company in Oakland.
“I think it’s becoming more acceptable to be an artist. It’s important to know you do not have to stick to what the educational system is telling you,” he said. “Arts are an amazing way to find out who you are and what you enjoy.”
‘Til Dawn alum James Barton designed this year’s Sing Out! Poster, which will is still available for sale at Youth in Arts! It was unveiled at the ‘Til Dawn performance Thursday at the Osher Marin JCC.
Barton, 21, is now a junior at UCLA. He said he created the poster, in shades of turquoise and reds, in the Fillmore style of art, using Photoshop.
“I sort of just went with that style,” he said.
Barton was in ‘Til Dawn for three years while a high school student at Marin Catholic High School. He now studies molecular biology.
Art “really provides an outlet for creative expression,” he said. “Graphic design is definitely one of my passions.”
Barton has fond memories of being a part of ‘Til Dawn and was happy to help out. The poster was sponsored by the Herrero family and Black Cat Studio.
“I don’t think I would have had the high school experience that I had without ‘Til Dawn,” he said. “It was such a support system.”
Current and former ‘Til Dawn members performed Thursday at Youth In Arts’ Sing Out! at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael.
‘Til Dawn alumni Matt Herrero is one of the featured performers at Youth In Arts’ spectacular Sing Out! event on Thursday — and he’s busy polishing several original songs.
Herrero, 23, a multi-instrumentalist composer, creator and performer who spent four years with Youth In Arts’ wonderful ‘Til Dawn a cappella troupe, now performs professionally. He credits ‘Til Dawn with helping to get it all started.
“It was the most musically rigorous group I’d ever been a part of,” he said. “It gave me a family outside of high school that I bonded to way more than with anyone else. They taught me how to make music with people.”
Herrero, who attended Marin Academy and graduated from Stanford University last year, is a storyteller who is amazing on the acoustic guitar. He said a friend described his music “as if Justin Timberlake wrote campfire songs.”
Joining Herrero on stage will be fellow alum Lilan Kane. She’ll be playing with her guitarist, James Harman.
Kane, 33, is looking forward to singing jazz and R & B influenced pop tunes. Kane, a graduate of Novato High and the Berklee College of Music in Boston, credits ‘Til Dawn with helping to set her on the path to performing.
“The community that it gave me … came at a time in my life that really saved me,” she said.
Being in the troupe also made her want to teach. Many of her former students, she said, are now ‘Til Dawn members.
‘Til Dawn made up of local high school students in Marin County. They are led by renowned director Austin Willacy. Both current `Til Dawn high school troupe members and alum called “Still Dawn” will perform Thursday.
The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Osher Marin JCC in San Rafael. Tables are $250; Adults are $35 and youth are $25. Tickets can be purchased here.
We had a send off to our Seniors: Siena Starbird who will attend CalArts, Rose Myers who will attend Cal State San Marcos and Will Salaverry who will attend Yale.
Thank you to Curtis Myers for the beautiful photographs. See gallery below. Thank you `Til Dawn Alum Harrison Moye for tech wizardy and to Cecily Stock and San Domenico staff for their support.
Here is a playlist of some of the songs.
Announcing the new members of `Til Dawn.
Aidan Bergman, Sir Francis Drake High School
Aidan sang before he could talk and has never stopped. Over the years he has played piano and sung in community talent shows, school and camp musicals and graduation ceremonies. He was a soloist in the ROCK gospel choir at Drake and also loves to play baseball. Aidan has played and sung music as long as he can remember and hopes to continue through high school and into his adult life.
Lara Burgert, Redwood High School
Lara has been singing for as long as she can remember. She loves to sing, dance, act, and perform on stage. Before doing musicals with Performing Arts Academy of Marin, she was a part of the Marin Girls Chorus. Lara has always wanted to be in an a cappella group, and is so excited to be in `Til Dawn.
Maycie Cooper, San Domenico
Maycie has been involved with music for over 8 years, and finds way to incorporate it into her life as much as possible. She sees it as a way to express herself and also to connect with others. Since living in California, she’s participated in every singing program her school has to offer, including annually acting in musicals since she started attending San Domenico. She loves the social side of singing and plans to keep music in her life forever.
Paul Makuh, Sir Francis Drake High School
Paul has been singing under the direction of Susie Martone from fifth grade through eighth grade and would love to keep it going into High School. He has made new friends through singing and feels that it would be great to keep singing in his life.
Zaria Willis, Marin School of the Arts
Bio coming soon
Isadora Zucker, Sir Francis Drake High School
Isadora Belle Zucker, a student at Sir Francis Drake High School, is a multifaceted performer active in music, theater, and dance, all of which she’s been studying since early childhood. Outside of the arts, Izzy enjoys mountain biking, swimming, her cat Hollywood, and spending summers traveling with her musical family, better known as the Zucker Family Band.
In honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th anniversary and to celebrate Dominican University’s Music For All program, Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) and Youth in Arts `Til Dawn performed a joint concert at Angelico Concert Hall, Dominican University on Sunday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Marin County Office of Education Superintendent Mary Jane Burke opened the concert up with praise for both intensive music programs. Youth in Arts award winning teen a capella ensemble, `Til Dawn began the concert with some Motown music, some ‘80’s music, and some jazz standards. ELM performed a selection of classical music from Bach to Mahler. The two advanced youth groups then collaborated on the iconic Leonard Bernstein song “Somewhere” from the musical West Side Story.
“We couldn’t be prouder to host this collaboration to shine a light on two exceptional youth music ensembles in Marin County, in celebration of our University wide initiative to promote inclusivity and equity” notes June Choi Oh, Chair, Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts, Dominican University.
A panel discussion followed featuring `Til Dawn Director Austin Willacy, ELM’s Conductor Martha Stoddard, an ELM parent and student, along with YIA student board member Rose Myers and her mom Tanya Myers. Thank you to June Oh
Dominican College, Chair, Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts for helping to make this concert possible and to ELM Founder and Pamela Levine Arts Education Awardee Jane Kramer for coming up with the collaborative approach.
Check out our Facebook page for some video of the show.
We are thrilled to welcome long-time Youth in Arts supporter, Janine Simerly to our board! Janine’s youngest son, Sean Simerly of Happnstance joined Youth in Arts’ Til Dawn A Capella group when he was a sophomore in high school. Janine remembers his experience fondly, “Sean had a lot of interests. He was a busy kid. Without doubt, the thing that ‘lit him up’ like no other was ‘Til Dawn. It was, from my vantage point, the most transformative experience of his high school years. He learned so much, not just about music and voice and harmonies (and beat boxing). ‘Til Dawn embodied everything that is wonderful about a team sport — without the orthopedic injuries.
One of the greatest joys in my life was attending ‘Til Dawn performances and watching these kids grow and blossom over the years, from nervous, awkward kids into seasoned professionals, so comfortable on stage with a mic in their hands.”
She also has a tremendous amount of respect for ‘Til Dawn director and mentor, Austin Willacy. “Austin Willacy is incredible. The man is a genius. He not only taught these kids about music and discipline. He also taught them to support and love one another. I could go on and on.”
Janine, a partner at the Miller Law Group in San Francisco, plans to bring her incredible energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the YIA Board, as well as, “an irreverent sense of humor. Sometimes that comes in handy.” Her goals as a YIA board member are to be, “a productive and valuable member of the board. To contribute. And hopefully pay back a little of what YIA has given to me (and Sean) over the years.” We feel very lucky to have her on our team!
Growing up in New Orleans, Janine had access to a well rounded arts education that included visual art, theatre, and music. Though she doesn’t consider herself an “artist” today, she is an avid gardner, champion Chili-maker, and she loves to sing and perform. “In my high school and college days, I had a blast performing in musicals. I’m told that I really nail ‘Big Spender’ from Sweet Charity.” We’re hoping she’ll grace us with a performance very soon.
Thank you, Janine!
We had another terrific installment of the `Til Dawn SING OUT! our annual alumni concert and fundraiser at the renowned Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Nearly 200 audience members enjoyed two great sets from Happnstance, featuring `Til Dawn alums Sean Simerly and Maria Pougiales-Posey with Danielle Bezalel.
We also had great performances from this year’s current `Til Dawn ensemble along with “Still Dawn” our chorus of alumni home for the holidays, singing hits from the `Til Dawn repertoire. All 50+ alumni, including Happnstance, donated their performances, helping us to raise $5,700, even more than we did at last year’s event! Thank you! Several alums, including Emily Kibbe, James Barton and our current Student Board Member Rose Myers also spoke from the stage about how much the valued the `Til Dawn experience and Austin Willacy’s mentorship.
We were also excited that our generous audience helped us “make to to 2018” by donating or pledging $2018 in honor of the new year–thank you so much to all who made this possible!
We would especially like to thank Entelo for their sponsorship and our `Til Dawn Scholarship Campaign Leadership Circle–David and Janine Simerly, Rick and Suzanne Herrero and Linda Sudduth and Buck Smith.
Youth in Arts is able to offer up to 100% scholarship aid to any student who passes the audition process, thanks to generous donors like these. If you’d like to make a donation to `Til Dawn to support our scholarship fund and our program in general, you can do that here.
Thanks again to all who made it to this year’s event–we look forward to seeing you again soon!
Meanwhile, enjoy this video of alum Sean Simerly and `Til Dawn member Will Salaverry singing “Steal My Kisses” with “Still Dawn” (Thanks, Linda Sudduth for the video!) You can find a few more on our Youth in Arts YouTube channel here.
UPDATE: The 2016 SING OUT! will be on Monday, December 26 at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. Click here to grab your tickets now!
Thanks to Peter Rodgers for the beautiful images from our 20th Anniversary `Til Dawn SING OUT! at Great American Music Hall, and thank you so much to Delta Rae and all our alumni vocalists for donating their time to raise funds for `Til Dawn scholarships.