NWSA alum, Alex Lacamoire, wins TONY AWARD for Broadway musical In the Heights

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NWSA alum, Alex Lacamoire,
wins Tony Award for Broadway Musical
In The Heights

Miami --- New World School of the Arts alum Alex Lacamoire received a Tony Award for Best Orchestrations on one of  Alex LacamoireBroadway’s hottest musicals, In the Heights, for which he is also co- /arranger, conductor, and musical director. With thirteen nominations, the musical secured three other Tony Awards including “Best Musical, “Best Original Score”, and “Best Choreography”. Lacamoire, a high school graduate from the 1992 music division class at NWSA, joined creator and composer-lyricist of In the Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda, in 2004 after an already successful career in theater.

“I am so honored that I won a TONY!” expressed Lacamoire, “this is basically the highest honor that I can get in my field, and it is given to a select few people in the business each year. The fact that I got one for a piece that I've devoted so much of my life and my passion to is the most rewarding and validating kind of recognition I've ever gotten.  I just did what I love to do, and then this little statue came along to say Great!"

Lacamoire, however, is not the only NWSA student in the Tony-Award winning musical. Andréa Burns, (1989 Theater) personifies the sassy beauty-salon owner “Daniela”, and Nina Lafarga, (1997 Dance) is a member of the cast. Holding fond memories of New World School of the Arts, Alex shares “It was absolutely THE BEST high school I could have gone to.  What I remember most about my time there was how much I was able to cross-pollinate. Being at NWSA expanded my repertoire and allowed me to see talented peers doing what THEY loved to do, and it put me inside a community of artists who shared their passions of music, theater, dance and art with each other.”

“We’re just so excited for Alex and the other alums who are part of this special show”, states Jeffrey Hodgson, Dean of Music at NWSA and Broadway aficionado - “I’m proud to say I’ve seen In The Heights a number of times, both off-Broadway and on Broadway. As the musical director and keyboardist, Lacamoire is instrumental to the show – he provides the heartbeat and pulse of the music. Along with the other cast members, they are the new sound and rhythm of Broadway.”

Of Cuban descent, Lacamoire was born in Los Angeles, moving to Miami in 1984. He attended New World School of the Arts high school, and upon graduation moved to Boston to pursue a career in music at the renowned Berklee College where he studied Jazz performance, arranging, and film scoring. A musical theater artist at heart, Alex moved to New York in 1998 where he began his rise to success. While playing off-Broadway in 2007, In the Heights also earned Lacamoire a Drama Desk nomination for Best Orchestration.  Other credits as music director, arranger, and/or orchestrator include Bat Boy: The Musical (2001), Godspell (National Tour 2001), Wicked (2003-2005), Stephen Schwartz's Captain Louie (2005), High Fidelity (2006), and Legally Blonde (2007).

Raised within two worlds and two distinct cultures Lacamoire sees the musical as one opening doors for Latinos. “When we perform,” he states “we often get cheers and applause from people when Lin mentions that his character is from Dominican Republic! It's people saying, hey, that's me!" and identifying with the show. I've never seen a musical like this, where a Hispanic person can look on stage and see such familiar people, places, and situations that remind them of their own lives and their own upbringing.”

In The Heights is a New York musical about a vibrant and tight-knit community at the northern end of Manhattan. The music pulses with the hopes and dreams of three generations as they struggle to forge an identity in a neighborhood on the brink of transition. In The Heights began as an original musical conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda during his sophomore year at Wesleyan University.  Upon graduating and returning home to New York, Miranda collaborated with director Thomas Kail to rework and restage the campus hit for a larger audience. Seven years after the idea was first born, In The Heights was ready for its New York theatrical debut.

The musical opened on Sunday, March 9, 2008 on Broadway at the Richard Rodgers Theater. With music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes, and conceived by Lin-Manuel Miranda, In The Heights is directed by Thomas Kail and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler.

New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida.

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