Kaprice Maxwell, an incoming senior at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, won the Gold Medal in Contemporary Voice at the 38th Annual NAACP ACT-SO National Competition “The Olympics of the Mind” in Cincinnati, Ohio, last weekend.
Maxwell is one of five MHSA students who qualified for the national competition by winning gold medals at the local competition in April. The other students are Adjua Nsoroma, incoming senior (Painting), Biluge Ntabala, incoming senior (Oratory), Norskuski Rivers, class of 2016 (Poetry) and LaTora Smith, class of 2016 (Classical Voice).
Maxwell won with her performance of a transcription of Ella Fitzgerald’s version of “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin. She also was selected to perform as a soloist in the Prince tribute during the awards ceremony. Maxwell, Ntabala, Smith and Rivers also sang in the ACT-SO choir at the ceremony.
“I have been involved with the ACT-SO program for 25 years. It is replete with academic and artistic rigor and affords our students opportunities to exchange ideas with the best and brightest teens from around the nation,” said Raymond Roberts, MHSA Choral Director. “The long lasting impact on all of these students is the greatest reward for their participation. But, being awarded the gold medal is fantastic, too!”
“We are so proud of Kaprice, Adjua, Biluge, Norskuski and LaTora and all of their hard work. They and Mr. Roberts deserve this prestigious honor,” said MHSA Principal Barry Applewhite. “We are pleased to have so many talented students and teachers at Milwaukee High School of the Arts.”
The MPS students competed with 750 other students, each representing their local branch of the NAACP. ACT-SO is an acronym for Academic, Cultural, Technological, and Scientific Olympics, and it is the principal youth initiative of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). It is a yearlong enrichment program designed to recruit, stimulate, improve and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students. There are 29 categories of competition in the sciences, humanities, performing and visual arts.
Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to redefining the MPS experience by expanding its fine arts programming, in an effort to improve outcomes for all students. The district continues to grow arts opportunities for students, including the addition of more than 100 art, music and physical education specialist teaching positions in recent years.
MPS Superintendent Dr. Darienne Driver and the entire MPS family congratulate Kaprice and her classmates on this national recognition!