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CONTRIBUTED Russellville High School students (front from left) Maggie Franks, Madeline Cooper, Grace McDermitt, (back from left) Nicholas McSpadden, Avery Guinn and Amelia Camacho celebrate their superior ratings in the State Trumbauer Festival, held at Troy University.

RHS students leave state drama competition victorious

Six students from Russellville High School traveled to Troy University for the State Trumbauer Festival and returned with superior ratings in their categories – and one student placed second in the state.

Nicholas McSpadden and Avery Guinn both competed in Solo Male Musical Theatre Dramatic category. Maggie Franks and Madeline Cooper competed in Solo Female Musical Theatre Comedic. Amelia Camacho competed in Solo Female Musical Dramatic, and Grace McDermitt competed in Solo Contemporary Female Comedic. Guinn also competed in Solo Male Contemporary Dramatic.

“When she handed me my medal, I was just shaking and couldn’t even read my score sheet,” Cooper said of her superior rating for her performance. “I was just in awe that all of the people who went (from RHS) ended up scoring superior. I was just amazed.”

In addition to receiving a superior rating, Guinn placed second in Solo Male Musical Theatre Dramatic, with only one point separating him from the first-place winner.

“When they called my name out, I just couldn’t believe I placed,” Guinn said. “It was like all adrenaline pumping. I was in disbelief.”

Guinn said he also could not believe he only missed first place by one point, so he has something to work toward for competition next year.

Two students received senior scholarship callbacks, with Camacho receiving a callback for Montevallo University and Franks receiving a callback for Mobile University and the Open Jar Institute in New York City.

Camacho said the process of auditioning for senior scholarships was intense and nerve racking.

Students had 90 seconds to perform a song and monologue in front of a room of judges and university representatives.

University representatives then contacted students they were interested in having come audition for a scholarship and spot in their program.

Franks said she was amazed by the number of people competing at the state completion and the level of talent.

McDermitt added it was great to have the opportunity to interact with so many people with similar interests.

“It was cool to be surrounded by people who also like what you like,” McDermitt said. “We are kind of in a bubble here, so it was nice to see people who like theater and see bigger productions.”

Cooper said the state competition was different from district because they were able to watch other competitors’ performances.

McSpadden said this helped ease the nerves because students were able to watch how the judges reacted to different acts, to have an idea of what the judges liked.

Cooper said the weekend left everyone exhausted, but it was worth all of the hard work.

“We are just so thankful for this opportunity, and I am amazed at how well we all did,” Cooper said.