Program features performances by 150 members of Bethesda-based student group

The broadcast premiere of Young Artists of America: The Songs of Tim Rice, airs on Maryland Public Television (MPT) Thursday, June 1 at 8 p.m.  Filmed recently at MPT’s Owings Mills studios, the program features symphonic, dance, and vocal performances of lyricist Sir Tim Rice’s musical theater and movie hits by the Bethesda-based group, Young Artists of America (YAA). YAA consists of students from more than 80 schools in Maryland, northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. The one-hour television special includes the talents of some 150 area students, and is hosted by Sir Tim Rice.

Devised and directed for Young Artists of America by London theater director Hugh Wooldridge (Chess in Concert, Royal Albert Hall; An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner, Lincoln Center; The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber) – friend and collaborator of Sir Tim Rice – the broadcast offers performances of 12 iconic songs, many of which earned Rice Tony Awards and Oscars. The program also includes segments during which Rice speaks about his career, his songs and musical collaborators, and the work of Young Artists of America.

Featured are songs from the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musicals Joseph and the Amazing Technicolorâ Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita; Chess, with lyrics by Rice and music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA; Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, with songs by Alan Menken and Rice; and The Lion King, a Sir Elton John and Rice collaboration.

The program also offers a segment taking viewers backstage with YAA as performers prepared for the MPT broadcast. The segment is narrated by YAA vocalist, Emily Reed, a Baltimore School for the Arts student, who sings Don’t Cry for Me Argentina from Evita and Nobody’s Side from Chess during the program.

Young Artists of America (YAA) at Strathmore was founded in 2011 by brothers Rolando and Kristofer Sanz, who have created the premier training organization for the region’s young performing artists.  It is the only known program in the nation where students receive mentorship and individualized instruction from renowned artists to perform fully orchestrated works of musical theater.  Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth, Grammy Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz, and The Bridges of Madison County composer/lyricist Jason Robert Brown have mentored YAA’s students in recent years.  The organization’s mission is to provide gifted and committed students high quality performance and educational opportunities in a nurturing and professional environment.

Young Artists of America: The Songs of Tim Rice airs on MPT-HD Thursday, June 1 at 8 p.m., and repeats on Friday, June 2 at 1:45 a.m.