HARRISBURG, Pa., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Daphnee McMaster, a senior at Reading High School, Berks County, today won the state finals of the 2012 "Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest."
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts hosted the competition at the Governor's Residence in Harrisburg. Suzanne Cawley, wife of Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, welcomed the competitors to the Residence.
McMaster will represent Pennsylvania in the national championship to be held in Washington, D.C. in May. The state champion will receive $200 from The Poetry Foundation and an expense-paid trip to compete in the national championship, which will award a total of $50,000 in scholarships and school stipends, with at least one $20,000 college scholarship.
Second place went to Claire Matway, a senior at Pittsburgh Public Schools-Creative & Performing Arts Magnet School in Allegheny County.
McMaster and Matway were among 13 regional finalists chosen from 10,000 Pennsylvania high school students who participated in this year's competition. It is facilitated through the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
"Over the past seven years, 45,000 Pennsylvania high school students have participated in Poetry Out Loud," said Suzanne Cawley. "In this year alone, over 10,000 students from 100 high schools in Pennsylvania have incorporated Poetry Out Loud as part of their curricula."
Each student memorized and performed three poems selected from print and online poetry anthologies. Students were judged on voice and articulation, physical presence, dramatic appropriateness, evidence of understanding, level of difficulty, overall performance, and accuracy.
The 11 other regional finalists competing today were:
- Daniela Alarcon, Grade 12, Indiana Area School District-Indiana County
- Michael Bahn, Grade 12, Central York School District-York County
- Julie Day, Grade 12, Berlin Brothersvalley School District-Somerset County
- Brittany Lynn Farnsworth, Grade 11, State College Area School District-Centre County
- Judson Greene, Grade 11, Homeschool-Columbia County
- Nora Katz, Grade 12, Palisades School District-Bucks County
- Mariel Kramer, Grade 11, Westmont Hilltop School District-Cambria County
- Adam Parham, Grade 12, Pleasant Valley School District-Monroe County
- Caitlin J. Queitzsch, Grade 12, Homeschool-Juniata County
- Marisa Vanness, Grade 9, Montrose Area School District-Susquehanna County; and
- Marissa Works, Grade 9, Hermitage School District -Mercer County.
The panel of judges for the state championship included performers, poets and cultural and business leaders from across the state:
- Robin Becker is a Liberal Arts Research Professor of English and Women's Studies at the Pennsylvania State University;
- Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq is the Deputy Secretary for the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education in the Pennsylvania Department of Education;
- Dan J. Martin is the Interim Dean of Carnegie Mellon University's College of Fine Arts and a Professor in the School of Drama;
- Marilyn Santarelli, C.F.R.E., is the executive director of the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre and PCA member;
- Kelly Summerford is a Harrisburg City Council Member.
- Becky McHugh, who works in the Division of Planning, Bureau of Teaching and Learning at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and Jamie Kasper, associate director of the Arts Education Collaborative of Pittsburgh, served as accuracy judges; and
- Jeffrey Gabel of Gettysburg, founding executive director of the historic Majestic Theater and PCA member, served as master of ceremonies.
Created by the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, the "Poetry Out Loud" contest encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance and competition.
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts is a state agency under the Governor's Office that works to foster the excellence, diversity and vitality of the arts in Pennsylvania and to broaden the availability and appreciation of those arts throughout the state. The council formed the Pennsylvania Arts in Education Partnership in 1995 to enhance efforts to foster educational excellence through participation in the creative process in schools and community settings.
Media contact: Heather Doughty, 717-787-1517
SOURCE Pennsylvania Council on the Arts