The students, faculty and staff at Booker T. Washington Magnet School watched in horror last August when their school caught fire. The school was empty at the time of the fire and thankfully no one was injured. In January, the performing and visual arts programs in the school made their comeback in the form of a Showcase of Talent program presented at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center.
The 2019 Showcase reveals the range and depth of talent, creativity and devotion that is at the heart of this unique and nationally-recognized program. The students, faculty, administrators and creative director, Gary Moore, presented a tight, professional and engaging Broadway-style production featuring dance, band music, powerful voices, choral interpretations, theatrical readings, photography, poetry and visual arts. Permeating the entire show was both humor and determination, reflected in multiple segments re-visiting the fire, the losses, the physical relocation and their vision for the future.
F.A.M.E. (Friends of Arts Magnet Education) is a non-profit support organization for the students and faculty of Booker T. Washington Magnet High School. Cheryl Carter, the F.A.M.E. Board President said the annual talent showcase is used both for publicity and fund raising to support BTW’s programs. She said it took on a special meaning for the students this year in the wake of the devastating fire.
“There are three performances each January,” said Carter. “The Friday morning show is for MPS middle-school students deciding if they want to apply for BTW. The Friday evening and Saturday afternoon performances are public events with dual goals: awareness and fund-raising. We want the whole city of Montgomery to witness the exceptional students of BTW.”
Moore acknowledges with pride the hard-work and dedication of his cast and crew.
“We have huge, multi-dimensional production numbers, and resonating solos. The students write, create and choreograph their vision, and must audition for a place in the program. What you see on stage is, literally, the best-of-the-best.”