Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre is ensuring the arts live on through the next generation with an annual scholarship program.
Each year, the nonprofit organization distributes financial awards to graduating seniors who plan to study the arts when they begin college in the fall. This year, two grants totaling $4,000 were awarded to Neshaminy High School’s Marlene Moore, of Feasterville, and Christopher Simcox, of Langhorne.
Scholarship distribution is something Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre has practiced since its inception in 1956. Funds are raised through tickets sold for the organization’s annual musical, typically held in the spring at the Theodore Kloos Auditorium. Generous donors also contribute to build the fund.
To date, NVMT has awarded more than $169,000 in scholarships to nearly 200 students.
The most recent fundraiser production was The Addams Family, which saw a cast and crew of more than 30 community members from throughout the Delaware Valley volunteer their time to put on the show, directed by the Barrymore Award-nominated Stephen Casey.
“NVMT’s scholarship grant program has been one of the most positive and rewarding forces behind the success of our theater group for more than a half-century,” said Tom Urquhart, president of the organization. “While we strive for excellence in our stage productions, it is always with the objective of providing funds for our scholarship grants in order to support deserving young people such as these in their quest to achieve their dreams. We’ve been most proud of our recipients and truly happy to have been able to help them.”
The scholarships were announced at Neshaminy’s class of 2023 senior awards night, held on May 25.
Moore received support from NVMT through the Joseph J. McGlade Memorial Scholarship Fund. She is attending Millersville University and majoring in secondary English education, with a minor in theater. Her vocational goal is to be a drama teacher in the Neshaminy School District. She’d also like to impact the lives of children and use the stage to help build the confidence young people need to be the best version of themselves.
During high school, Moore participated in Marching Band (serving as president), the Wind Ensemble, Indoor Percussion, the Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, Women’s Choir, Neshaminy High School Summer Stock, the Drama Department, Tri-M Music Honor Society (serving as secretary) and in the high school’s musical theater productions.
Moore has a 4.2 GPA, taking honors and advanced placement classes, and is a member of the National Honor Society.
Simcox received support from NVMT through the Evelyn McClean Memorial Scholarship Fund, named after the founder of the music theater. His vocational goals include performing professionally so that he may, as he notes, shed light on problems that affect the world and help others learn, grow and become better humans through theater and art.
While applying for college admission, he was granted 17 auditions at various universities that have specialized programs in theater, and was accepted in at least 11 programs. Simcox will major in musical theater at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
He has been involved with every Neshaminy High School musical and drama show throughout his high school career, as well as numerous non-scholastic productions, including an off-Broadway production in New York City. Additionally, he was a member of the youth chorus in Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre’s production of The Music Man in 2015.
Simcox joins his mother, who, as a Neshaminy graduate, also received a NVMT scholarship.
The application process for 2024 scholarships, open to graduating seniors of Neshaminy High School, will be available next spring.
NVMT will announce its spring 2024 production later this summer. Auditions will be held in the fall. The organization has received national recognition for its annual productions, including 32 nominations and seven wins from the International Music and Entertainment Association in categories such as outstanding performer, outstanding director and outstanding scenic design.
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