Charter Arts is excited to honor all of our alumni. We love that our graduates keep us informed about their lives, their milestones and their future goals. We have devoted this special page as a place to highlight alumni stories, so please enjoy!
“Zach” by Jessica Bastidas
Jessica is a 2012 Visual Art graduate. She is currently a sophomore at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Design in Baltimore, MD. She is a triple major in Illustration, Humanistic Studies, and the Masters in Art and Teaching program at MICA. Over the years, her work has been shown at Banana Factory, The BAUM School of Art, The Allentown Art Museum, Timezones Gallery, Euro Yogurt, Terra Café, Arts in the Park, The Ignite Show, and others. Jessica has been awarded Twelve Golden Keys and four silver keys for the Scholastic Art Awards on the Regional Level, Two Silver Keys and an American Visions Award on the National Level, and her work for the AP Portfolio has toured nationally. She was a finalist in the Illustrators of the Future Contest and winner of the Gates Millennium Scholarship Award as well as the winner of numerous calendar and poster contests. Additionally, she has been featured in Honors Student Magazine (2010) and Bethlehem Patch’s Whiz Kid.
James is a proud 2007 Charter Arts theatre graduate. He is currently an MFA Acting Candidate at the Yale School of Drama. While growing up in the Lehigh Valley, James was extensively involved with Civic Theatre, Touchstone Theatre and Muhlenberg College’s Theatre and Dance program. While at Charter Arts, James was a founding member of Second Stage, the school’s student run theatre company. His regional acting credits include: Sidewalk Art, Williamstown Theatre Festival. New York credits include: Columbia University, Metropolitan Opera. He was the recipient of the Pennsylvania Award for the Creative Achievement in the Arts. Other training credits include the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, the Apprentice Program at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and a BA in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College.
EMILY is a 2010 Charter Arts graduate of the theatre department. After graduating she toured with the National Broadway Tour of Spring Awakening as Thea. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Film/TV/Music. She will appear in a Paramount Studios picture releasing in 2013 titled “A Malibu Horror Story.” At Charter Arts she appeared in Little Women as Jo, Hunger as Caroline, and Threepenny Opera as Molly. She toured at the age of 11 with the National Broadway Tour of Oliver! Then performed in the Off-Broadway American Girl’s Revue as Molly. She sang at President Barack Obama’s PA Inaugural Ball and as a halftime soloist at Madison Square Garden. Look out for some new Singer/Songwriter style songs from Emily in 2013!
Adam is a 2007 vocal music graduate of Charter Arts. This Nazareth native continued his studies at Mannes College- the New School for Music in New York City, where he received his Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance and Opera, and is currently attending the college for his Master of Music degree
His professional singing career has taken him from coast to coast, and his performance resume is impressive. To name a few of his credits: Adam recently appeared at Carnegie Hall in the Weill Recital Hall debut with The Mannes College of Music Lizst Festival in December 2011. He was the Tenor Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Mark Shaprio and The St. Cecilia Chorus, Carnegie Hall Debut. He appeared in a concert at SongFest at Pepperdine in Malibu, CA with pianist Martin Katz in summer 2011. In May 2011 he was seen as Bardolfo in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Mannes Opera and Orchestra under Maestro Jospeh Colaneri. Also with the Mannes Opera, Adam has appeared in numerous piano and orchestral scenes programs including Act III of La Boheme as Rodolfo and Act I of Robert Ward’s The Crucible as Giles Corey.
Adam’s awards include: Encouragement Grant from The Opera Index Competition, September 2011. The Michael Sisca Opera Award upon graduation, May 2011. Finalist in The Gulio Gari Competition, May 2011.
Rachel was a 2009 Charter Arts graduate, where she majored in Figure Skating. She heavily focused her training in ice dancing and show skating. She had the privilege of auditioning with prospective ice dance partners trained by prestigious world and Olympic coaches such as Robbie Kaine and Igor Shpilband.
Upon graduating Charter Arts, Rachel decided to give up her competitive skating status and turn professional. Her first professional contract began two days after leaving Charter Arts. As a professional figure skater, Rachel has performed in shows for Woodstock Ice Productions at Doroney Park, Rand Family Productions, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in Atlanta, and Advanced Entertainment Group at Sea World in Orlando, Florida.
With education being a very significant aspect of Rachel’s life, she graduated Charter Arts with a scholarship to Moravian College, where she is currently a junior studying English and Writing. She hopes to have a career as a writer, whether writing novels or screenplays. When she graduates Moravian, she plans to continue her professional skating career while touring in the US and internationally.
Rachel acknowledges Charter Arts as a vital stepping stone in her life; where she was able to gain opportunities she would not have otherwise, and where she worked with instructors who had a strong hand in providing her the essentials and aid to help reach her goals.
Katie is a 2009 graduate, who majored in Dance at Charter Arts. She is now studying exercise science/ pre-occupational therapy at West Chester University, with a minor in dance. She is also involved with the University Dance Company and will attend the American College Dance Festival. She works as an occupational therapy aide, as well as a dance teacher in classroom, private and disability settings.
Katie says, “Charter Arts steered me on the right path. I have learned in my classes at college that a child is more likely to be successful if they are supported and have a strong passion. Charter Arts helps kids develop their passion for the arts. The school helped me to develop good friends and helped me prepare for the future.”
Octavia is a 2010 Visual Art graduate of Charter Arts. She is currently attending Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, PA. She loves the college. She loves the feel of a smaller school, and enjoys the diverse student body. She has met many international students who have become great friends. Octavia is majoring in biology and says, “Because I am a visual learner, I feel that my visual art training at Charter Arts helped me appreciate illustrations, which is so helpful in biology, because pictures are used to illustrate many concepts. I have an advantage.”
Diomi graduated from Charter Arts in 2010. He went on to earn an Associates degree from The Institute of Audio Research in NYC in November 2011. Diomi finished his casework in just eighteen months, and he will continue his education at the City College of New York studying Journalism. Everyone who knows “D” knows that he is focused on attaining professional success as a R&B singer. Diomi is working everyday to ensure that his dreams are realized.
In addition to working on his music and education every day, Diomi works as a dispatcher on Wall Street at night, and also works with his aunt as a volunteer with incarcerated women to help them gain confidence and skills necessary to achieve their goals.
Diomi loves Manhattan. His education and ambition has put him in front of record labels such as; Def Jam, Interscope, Universal, Warner Music Group and Young Money/Cash Money. Diomi is busy performing original songs throughout New York City and he is working on plans to tour in Australia this spring.
“You have to prove yourself to a record label. As a Hispanic vocalist I have a unique opportunity to bridge the R&B industry”.
Colleen was an Instrumental Music major at Charter Arts, where she was a cellist and loved every minute of it. She graduated in 2010 and is now a sophomore Animal Science major at Cornell University.
“When I graduated Charter Arts, I felt very well prepared for the challenges of college. Through the arts education that I received from Charter Arts, I learned to balance and prepare for a demanding college schedule and workload. The combination of art and academic instruction allowed me to appreciate the interconnectedness of all subjects presented by a large research university. The diverse environment experienced at Charter Arts also mirrors that of the international and multicultural population of Cornell University. “
At Cornell, Colleen is involved in the CU Raptor Program, the Pre-Vet Society, Block and Bridle, and the CU Wildlife Health Center (WHC). As part of the CU Raptor Program, she works with various non-releasable, wild raptor species and presents them to audiences at educational seminars. As a volunteer at the WHC, she assists veterinarians specialized in wildlife medicine.
Colleen continues to play cello and plans on joining a chamber ensemble. Her future plans include completing her undergraduate education with a Bachelors of Science in Animal Science and continuing to a graduate school to study Veterinary Medicine and become a mixed practice veterinarian.