Artist To Watch: Blake Novy

Sebastian Arreola

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    There are numerous talented artists attending Glenwood Springs High School (GSHS). Many are involved in visual art classes, pursuing photography, painting, or drawing. But for Junior Blake Novy, art is all about the performing arts of acting, singing, dancing. He stands out among the many skilled performers at GSHS because of his constant self improvement.

    Novy has been involved in the drama department and choir at GSHS since his freshman year. He’s participated in the previous musicals of Anything Goes and The Addams Family and will be in this year’s musical Crazy For You.

    Novy takes theatre and the arts very seriously. He takes regular voice and dance lessons outside of school. He’s also been involved in conventions relating to theatre and choir that have been useful and have taught him many lessons to improve as a performer. The prominent convention that takes place in Denver in early winter is Thescon. Thescon is a three day theatre convention with workshops, competitions, and auditions for colleges taking place.

   “This past year I was able to compete in the musical theatre category and I received a double superior… both the judges that I was performing for rated me at the highest level,” said Novy.

    Novy had prepared a four minute piece from the musical Natasha Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and was awarded double superior for his performance which rewarded him a spot to nationals this upcoming summer.

    “It was something I had been working on since the beginning of the year,” said Novy.

    As Novy had been preparing his performance piece months prior, it demonstrates his commitment to the thing he enjoys doing the most and the time he’s willing to sacrifice out of his day to perform at his best.

    After completion of his recent Thescon performance, Novy’s already one step ahead of himself and is beginning to prepare for an upcoming competition that he’s “… going to attempt to compete next fall called the National Youngarts Foundation. They take about a thousand applicants a year and then select 12 to perform on a stage in Los Angeles.”

    Drama Teacher and Musical Director Kate McRaith has worked with many young artists throughout her nine years at GSHS. She builds a relationship with her students through theatre and comes to acknowledge their growth of skills throughout their high school journey.

    “When he came in as a freshman, he was very talented, and what he has done over the last few years in a very dedicated and passionate way is he’s put a lot of time and effort and energy into honing all of his skills,” said McRaith.

    She’s comes to see Novy grow as a performer by taking it more seriously and always seeing how he can improve to give the best possible performance. McRaith hopes Novy continues pursuing acting and takes on a significant leadership role in his future.

    Choir Teacher Shanti Gruber has encountered many students with outstanding vocals that have contributed the choir. Her work consists of getting to know her student’s voice ranges and assisting positively to them to become confident with their voice and not shy away from it, such as Novy.

    Since freshman year, “He has become more confident in leadership…has stepped out of his shell, and is more willing to take risks as performer” said Gruber.

    As a male singer, he’s challenged Gruber to concentrate on the men’s section of the choir and to increase their vocal potential. Gruber wishes to see Novy audition for State Choir his senior year and to see him participate in the many opportunities that will come his way.

    Both McRaith and Gruber view Novy as a determined, humble, courteous student who has become a role model for those around him especially the younger students that are involved in the musical and choir. He’s always willing to help those in need of understanding a concept of a dance or a song.

    As Novy continues to pursue the performing arts, he’s setting a goal of auditioning for over 40 colleges during his senior year and is leaning towards the east coast for his theatre career path to proceed. The main universities he’s looking into are Emerson College in Boston and Pace University in Manhattan. As Novy plans out his future, he’ll continue to participate in the school musicals. Be sure to look out for him as he portrays the characters of Mingo and Bobby Child’s understudy in the upcoming performance of Crazy For You late February.

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