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July 16, 2014

Norman performers up their game

NORMAN — Three Norman students have taken the next step in their young performing careers with a rigorous multi-week immersion in the world of song and dance.

Incoming Norman High School freshman Taylor Carmen just completed the middle school camp.

Meanwhile, Norman North sophomores Kate Kemmet and Brady Bell auditioned for the Oklahoma City University three-week intensive musical theater camp for high school students.

Of the 60 who made the cut, Bell and Kemmet were among four Oklahomans accepted to the program.

Bell and Kemmet grew up on the stage together, performing in the same troupe at the Sooner Theatre since they were in second grade.

They are currently voice students of the recently retired Norman North choir director Tony Gonzalez and dance students at Massay’s Dance Star Productions. They are also members of the Norman North Chorale and the competitive acting program. 

“Being selected for the OCU music theater camp has been a life-changing experience. I was shocked to see how kids from all over the United States came to participate in this camp,” Bell said. “I feel very lucky to be here and it’s been really fun having my classmate Kate here to share the experience.

“We hope we can bring back what we’ve learned and use it in our competitive acting and musical productions at Norman North next year.”

The camp began June 28 and will continue through July 20, when attendees will put on a production of “Footloose.”

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Bass School of Music on the Oklahoma City University campus. 

Carmen just finished a two-week stint as the lead, Tracy Turnblad, in “Hairspray Jr.”

Carmen is currently a student at Premier Dance Company and a vocal student of Melissa Etheridge. 

“I’m so grateful to have this type of experience to train at one of the finest musical theater programs in the nation,” Carman said. 

They’re young performers, but they’ve already put in a good first act. 

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