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North Kentucky Kids Earn Accolades at National Theatre Festival

They sang, they danced and they did great. 
Northern Kentucky young talents Lily Deye, Tanner Gleeson, Janie Nalbandian, Isabelle Salter, and Kotomi Yokokura were part of the troupe from the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music Preparatory Dept. who went to Atlanta last week to participate in the national Junior Theatre Festival.
The festival had 4,500 participants from 101 theaters from the U.S., Australia, South Korea, England, and Canada.
The students from CCM Prep earned an “Excellence in Dance” for its excerpt from Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr., which they’ll perform in May at CCM in May. 
Tanner Gleeson, eighth grader at Beechwood High School and a Villa Hills resident, was selected a Festival All-Star for the second time. 
Janie Nalbandian from Union, in eighth grade at School for the Creative and Performing Arts, was one of the CCM Prep students invited to the Choreography DVD auditions. 
Fort Thomas’s Isabelle Salter, a sixth grader at Highland Middle School, was part of the CCM Prep team in the Tech Olympics. 
Dee Anne Bryll, director of the CCM Prep program was a 2015 recipient of the Freddie G Spirit Award, which recognizes outstanding educators. Bryll said, “I have always loved being a teacher and to have the opportunity to work with such amazing young people. 
“They inspire me each and every day. I always think of the line from The King and I – ‘If you become a teacher by your pupils you’ll be taught.’ That is certainly true in my case!”
It will be back to rehearsal for Millie on Saturday. Bryll, a busy performer and director/choreographer as well as educator, is also in rehearsal for her next onstage appearance, in The Heat of the Night, opening at Falcon Theatre at the Monmouth Theater in Newport in February.
Written by Jackie Demaline, RCN Arts
Photo provided