Monday, May 02, 2016

Saddleback College 2016 Award Ceremony - Angels for the Arts Fundraiser: A Student Success Showcase

Recipients: Music - Dylan Martinez (Rancho Santa Margarita; Communication/Speech: Nicole Friedman (San Clemente; Cinema/Television/Radio (CTVR) Kimberly Crawford (San Juan Capistrano, Ryan Johnson (Aliso Viejo) ; Theatre Arts: Atefeh Mahdi (Aliso Viejo), Alexandrea McDermott (San Juan Capistrano); Dance: Andrea Braga (Mission Viejo), Spencer Jensen (Laguna Niguel); Photography: Lanae Garant (Mission Viejo); Dance/Theatre: Sean Darley (Irvine)

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita, CA – The Angels for the Arts organization at Saddleback College will present its 2016 Student Success Showcase featuring an awards ceremony and performances from Angels for the Arts scholarship recipients and recognizing students completing degrees or transferring.

The student-recipient performance and award ceremony takes place on Tuesday, May 17th at 7:30 p.m. in the McKinney Theatre. Ten students will each be presented a scholarship in the amount of $1,000 for their accomplishments in the arts at Saddleback College. Admission is free and open to the public.


Dylan Martinez (Rancho Santa Margarita) is a vocal student who has been involved in nearly every choir performance since 2012. He performed in major works, opera, A Feast of Lights, benefit concerts, and many solos throughout the years as a tenor. He is currently in his fourth semester in the applied music program for voice. According to Dylan, his time at Saddleback has been well spent with many great achievements personally, musically, and academically to his credit.

(left to right) Spencer Jensen, Andrea Braga, Lanae Garant, Kimberly Crawford, Sean Darley, Photographer: Marisa Lowey-Ball

Nicole Friedman (San Clemente) has been on the speech and debate forensic team for just four months and in that short time span, she found a place of challenge and acceptance. In just a few tournaments, she went from third place to finalist to being selected to attend Hell Froze Over, a prestigious four-year level competition and is in a Reader’s Theatre cast. Recently, she earned awards at State and Phi Ro Phi with her team. With this scholarship, she will be able to focus on her studies in order to transfer to a four-year university.  

Cinema/Television/Radio (CTVR)
Kimberly Crawford (San Juan Capistrano) has experience in marketing and advertising and is currently pursuing studies in radio, television, and film. This scholarship is allowing her to acquire the necessary equipment to drive her career to new heights by creating quality media geared to cultivate self-awareness.

Ryan Johnson (Aliso Viejo) is a hard-working student running the internet radio station OC Rock Radio and hosting a specialty hip hop show called Thirstin with The RKJ Man. According to Ryan this job has helped him develop his skills and personality in his study. In his hip hop show he features a segment called What’s Up Saddleback where he discusses local events on campus.

(front row) Nicole Friedman, Alexandrea McDermott (back row) Atefeh Madi, Dylan Martinez
Not Pictured: Ryan Johnson.; Photographer: Marisa Lowey-Ball

Theatre Arts:
Atefeh Mahdi (Aliso Viejo) is an actress working hard to develop consistency. She was a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival nominee and spearheaded the fundraising efforts towards the Hawaii festival this year. After earning a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley and attending law school, she is now pursuing acting and singing at Saddleback College. She is committed to her training at Saddleback and the scholarship would help relieve financial pressure.

Alexandrea McDermott (San Juan Capistrano) is a musical theatre student who starred in Saddleback’s recent production of She Loves Me. She has been a student at Saddleback for two years, which she cites as being the most instrumental years of her educational career so far. According to Alex, she has grown as an artist and her growth in the theatre and music departments has been transformational.

Andrea Braga (Mission Viejo) is a dance student who has been given many great opportunities at Saddleback to dance in every dance production and interdisciplinary performing opportunities in the past two years.  She was a dancer in two Happening/Unhappening shows, which combined, jazz, dance, speech, art, and theatre. She also performed in The Armed Man with the Saddleback choirs, and Sequences and Spirals. This semester she was given the opportunity to choreograph her own piece which was performed at Dance Collective 2016.

Spencer Jensen (Laguna Niguel) is a talented dancer who has just been accepted to CSU Long Beach to continue his dance studies. After his first dance class at Saddleback, he knew immediately that he wanted to pursue dance further. Dance has allowed him to grow in his community and for the past three years he has volunteered for the Dance Discovery Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides outreach programs to educate the community in the arts. He sees himself continuing to be active in dance and education.

Lanae Garant (Mission Viejo) is a photography student who attained experience and interest in fashion photography while shooting for dance and theatre productions in the McKinney Theatre.  Photographing stage performances has taught her how to work in an environment with minimal lighting. She loves fashion and everything that goes with it—the different fabrics, textures, and colors. Because of her studies at Saddleback, she is able to pursue a career in her passion, which is fashion photography.

Sean Darley (Irvine) is a theatre and dance student, whose artistic skills merge his interests in both dance and musical theatre at Saddleback College. His passion for the arts has been encouraged by his family and friends for years. This is his first year at Saddleback, and he has already been in one play, one musical, and the spring dance show. Both disciplines have taught him dedication, perseverance, discipline, and teamwork. Receiving the scholarship has given him the opportunity to advance his training and skills in dance and musical theatre.

The Angels for the Arts is a fundraising and support organization for the Performing and Visual Arts at Saddleback College.  Angel members donate their time and talent to raise funds and assist with a variety of arts events on the campus.  The group is led by a volunteer advisory board of directors. Angel members believe in the importance of offering a full spectrum of arts to the community, with the college as the focal point.  These events bring together Orange County residents from all walks of life, for the purpose of enlightenment, entertainment, and inspiration. The Angels also provide support for scholarships for students in Visual & Performing Arts, MainStage Kids productions, master classes with professional artists, hospitality for guest artist performers and crew, and enhancements for arts patrons, such as the tram, and the annual Big Band Swing Thing fundraiser.

Located in Mission Viejo, Saddleback College provides quality higher education and training to the greater south Orange County community.  Having served more than 500,000 students since 1968, Saddleback College offers over 300 degree and certificate programs to help students reach their personal, career, and educational goals.  For more information, please visit and for Fine Arts information, please  

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