Excited to learn

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Riley Taylor will attend Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention from March 2-6 in Greensboro, N.C. (Contributed)

Riley Taylor will attend Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention from March 2-6 in Greensboro, N.C. (Contributed)

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“I was excited about going to the Southeastern Theatre Convention and learning more about theatre,” said PHS junior Riley Taylor. “I never thought I would win an award.”

Taylor’s nominating teacher, Jamie Stephenson, believed that her student had the winning demeanor needed to capture the Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise for the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Stephenson nominated Riley Taylor to honor her tremendous work ethic.

“Riley works hard on everything that she does in the department. When I nominated her, I hoped she would win because she deserves the opportunity to expand her knowledge. She will take advantage of every second to learn,” said Stephenson.

Riley Taylor has had a year of great successes with performances and statewide theatre competitions. She has also won the role of Cinderella for the PHS spring musical.

Stepping up to study and compete on the next level beyond state competition is her next arena.

“Riley’s honor is especially prestigious because she was named as one of only four winners in the southeast and the only winner of the Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise award in Alabama,” said Stephenson.

Riley Taylor is also the first Pelham High School recipient of the KEAP award.

“As a KEAP award winner, Riley will be able to have a front row seat for all of the Keynote Speakers. She will meet the keynote speakers and attend special meals with the dignitaries of the conference. This is a huge honor and I am so excited for Riley.”

In addition to the scholarship, Taylor’s award covers the conference registration fees bringing its monetary value to almost $1,000.

Knowing Riley Taylor since she was a little girl has made watching her take the stage and perform almost magical.

When she sings, I wonder how she manages to store such an enormous voice within her petite frame.

Spotting the appropriate photo backdrop mounted at a lofty height on my wall, I ask Taylor if she’s willing to climb.

Without a second thought, she makes the effort—placing Riley Taylor in the perfect frame—clearly within reach of dreams come true.