The virtual closure of DMPS schools until they’re safe for a full return to normal operations hasn’t stopped awards from coming the way of talented students and news of one that’s very much in the spirit of “the show must go on” just reached a junior at Roosevelt High School.

“Ada Fender, a member of the Roosevelt band, choir, and theater programs has been selected as a winner in the 2020 Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge, hosted by the National Endowment for the Arts,” said Devon Steve, Roosevelt’s Assistant Director of Vocal Music & Theater Arts. “Her song will be recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in NYC and made available on music streaming platforms. Please join us in congratulating her.”

Each winner is assigned a two-person coaching team—a mentor and a music director—to hone their original song into a Broadway-ready composition. Each song is then recorded by Broadway musicians and vocalists in New York City, made available on streaming music platforms, and published in a songbook compiled by Concord Theatricals.

Ada’s winning entry is entitled Great Grim Green. It takes place in a fantasy world called Morania where Liz, an orphaned, 27-year-old peasant girl lives. Liz is tired of being rejected by those around her. She decides to visit a witch, known as the Great Grim Green Guinevene, who she asks to make her into a new person. The song was inspired by the idea of someone feeling so misunderstood that they want to completely change who they are.

“I’m really excited to have this opportunity to work with Broadway professionals,” Ada told us. “It still feels crazy that I’m one of the winners.”

She wrote the song last winter and submitted it to the competition in February.

“They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway,” goes the lyric to a popular song. “They say there’s always magic in the air.”

But right now the lights are dimmed because of something else that’s in the air. At Roosevelt, though, the show does go on, and we certainly do join with her classmates and teachers there in congratulating one of the stars, Ada Fender.

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