SCOTTSBLUFF — Billy Mosher entered into choir class Tuesday, May 14 for one of the final days of school and found out choir director Brad Ronne had an announcement.
Mosher was selected as an outstanding actor in a supporting role for his portrayal of Race in the Scottsbluff High School spring musical "Newsies."
“When I got the notification that Billy was to receive this award, I was really ecstatic for him,” Ronne said. “He is a really hard working and talented young man. It’s really outstanding to see that effort rewarded.”
The Omaha Performing Arts announced Mosher was one of the students recognized in the 11th annual Nebraska High School Theater Academy awards. Mosher said he had no idea he was up for nomination.
“Mr. Ronne got an email first, so he told me and the class,” said Mosher. “As soon as it all got solidified and the list came out officially, they sent me an email.”
The email came through his inbox a couple weeks after the final performance of "Newsies" and after reading it, Mosher told his family.
“I could not believe it. I was so happy. I didn’t expect to get anything at all and just thought it was awesome that they talked about me in the notes,” he said.
His parents were more surprised and proud of his selection. They plan to travel to Omaha to watch the showcase performance June 7.
According to a NHSTA press release, the winners will receive awards at the annual Nebraska High School Theater Academy Showcase Friday, June 7 at the Orpheum Theater in Omaha at 7:30 p.m.
Mosher will travel to Omaha June 1 for a week-long theatrical and vocal workshop leading up to the red-carpet event. Following the red-carpet walk, the students will received trophies for their achievements. Mosher said he already has a space cleaned off for his trophy.
Mosher said, “It’s a great opportunity because I’ll get my name out on the east side of the state, which there are a lot of openings and connections there.”
Representatives from more than 80 high schools and middle schools across Nebraska will work with leading local musicians and Omaha Performing Arts’ artist-in-residence, Omaha native Ray Mercer, currently playing in Broadway’s The Lion King, and resident choreographer of the Ailey/Fordham institute, on the awards’ large group opening and closing numbers. Omaha native Q. Smith, currently a member of the Come From Away Broadway cast, will host this year’s event and perform with students.
Mosher and Anna Harveson will be members of the ensemble for this awards show.
“Both of them are very eager to learn and will soak up as much as they can that week,” Ronne said.
As part of the event, students will receive tickets to touring Broadway shows, professional feedback on school performances and additional performance opportunities.
As he looks forward to the opportunity for growth the NHSTA showcase will provide, Mosher said he could not have done it without Ronne’s guidance.
“I want to thank Mr. Ronne for his guidance as a singer and actor,” he said. “I could not dream to be accepted for an award like this without him. I owe him a lot.”
General admission tickets for the showcase are $10. Tickets can be purchased by visiting TicketOmaha.com, contacting the Ticket Omaha Box Office at (402) 345-0606 or visiting the box office inside the Holland Center, 1200 Douglas St. in downtown Omaha.
The awards recognized students across the state for their outstanding performances and technical achievements in theater.