PCCA Alumni Accolades
Class of 1999
Jibade-Khalil Huffman is an artist and writer whose video and photo works use found, archival material and contemporary ephemera to address slippage in memory and language, particular to race and visibility. Lyrical strophes of text and densely-composed imagery produce objects of perpetual flux, indexed by accumulating layers which challenge normative symbolic and semiotic hierarchies. Through projection and repetition, Huffman’s work evokes the untranslatable, ruminating on the liminal qualities of singular experiences through narrative and graphic rhythms.
Upcoming exhibitions include Ballroom Marfa and MOCA Cleveland. Recent exhibitions include the Hammer Museum, MOCA Detroit, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, The Jewish Museum, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Swiss Institute, New York. Educated at Bard College (BA), Brown University (MFA, Literary Arts), and USC (MFA, Studio Art), his awards include the Grolier Poetry Prize, the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant and fellowships from the Lighthouse Works, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Huffman was a 2015-16 Artist in Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem and lives and works in New York.
Link to gallery: https://anatebgi.com/cpt_exhibitions/solo-exhibition-2/
Techinical Theater, class of 2006 Cirque du Soleil
Alana's professionalism as a college intern with the world famous Cirque du Soleil's production of "O", in Las Vegas led to her hiring as Assistant Stage manager. Currently she is the Stage Manager for Cirque du Soleil.
Alana began her arts education at Pinellas County Schools at Perkins Elementary as part of the first class in the Arts Magnet program, attended John Hopkins Middle School and the PCCA at Gibbs High School in the Technical Theater program.
Alana went to School of Drama at Carnegie-Mellon University, graduating in 2010 with Bachelor of Fine Arts in Production, Technology and Management. She was named an Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar, recognized for academic excellence combined with volunteerism, involvement in student organizations, the arts and leadership. She also received a Senior Leadership Award, which recognized the top-graduating seniors whose unique contributions in academics and research, the arts, athletics, and community service.
Music, class of 2005 Composer, Lyricist
Dylan is an American composer and lyricist and two-time recipient of the Alan Menken Award. Dylan currently resides in New York City.
Dylan has written two full-length musicals: Republic and The Way It Goes and is currently working on his third, Edison. In 2009, Republic had a stage reading at the Acorn Theatre in Times Square. The show’s incredible cast included such Broadway regulars as Tony Award winning actress Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone, Crazy for You), Lauren Worsham (New York City Opera’s Candide), Kelli Barrett (Baby It’s You!, Rock of Ages) and James Moye (Million Dollar Quartet, Full Monty). Republic made it to the final round of selections for last year’s Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference. Dylan has also worked on three New York productions of Canteen, a USO style cabaret with big band arrangements of modern pop tunes, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre where he orchestrated, arranged and music directed 35 songs for a 6 piece band and 4 vocalists. Dylan’s music was recently featured in the New Voices at NYU concert where his song “My Life With You” was performed by Tony-nominated actress Elizabeth Davis of Broadway’s Once.
Dylan has scored numerous short and feature-length films that have screened around the world at film festivals such as the Heartland Film Festival, Kerry Film Festival (Ireland), South By Southwest (SXSW), Golden Door International Film Festival, Bel Air Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, the Tribeca Film Festival, and more, as well as on PBS. Last year, Dylan was the winner of NYU’s Skirball Film Scoring Competition where his original music for the animation “A Rant” was performed by the NYU Orchestra under the baton of Jerry Steichen.
Dylan is also known for his concert music and was recently commissioned to write a wind quintet for the Quintet of the Americas, which premiered at Symphony Space this past February. Dylan is one of the five founding members of Circles and Lines, the New York City composers collective that has received favorable reviews in the New York Times. As a member of Circles and Lines, his work has received numerous premieres at a variety of New York venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, Renee Weiler Concert Hall at the Greenwich House, Brooklyn’s Vaudeville Park, The Secret Theatre, and Symphony Space, as well as New York’s classical music station WQXR. Dylan’s music has been performed by ensembles such as the Quintet of the Americas, the Lumina String Quartet, the PCCA Orchestra, and the PRISM Brass Quintet. In 2005, his string quartet titled “The Days of Trains Are Comin’ Back” won first place at NYU’s String Quartet Competition.
Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dylan is a graduate of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School where he received the 2005 Bravo Award, the top award for achievement and talent. As a Florida native, he has composed, orchestrated, and music directed for numerous productions at the Palladium Theatre, the Studio@620, and other local venues. His first full-length musical, The Way It Goes, premiered at the Palladium Theatre in 2004 to a crowd of 800 people.
He is the recipient of the 2011 and 2007 Alan Menken Award, Walker’s Rising Stars Scholarship, Al Downing Jazz Association Scholarship, and the Mensa Education and Research Foundation’s Grosswirth-Salny Scholarship. Dylan is a proud member of both ASCAP and The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.Justin Hires
Justin Hires is an up and coming multi-talented actor, comedian and writer. He was recently casted in Columbia Pictures feature film, "21 Jump Street," in the role of ‘Juario,’ alongside Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, released on March 16th, 2012. Additionally, he can be found hosting and performing for the "8 O'Clock All Stars" show every weekend at the Downtown Comedy Club in Los Angeles.
Born in St. Petersburg, FL, by the age of 13, Justin became the youngest cast member in the Tampa Bay Area's popular "Shakespeare in the Park" productions. Upon graduating from PCCA, Justin ventured to Atlanta, GA, where he attended Clark Atlanta University. While in Atlanta, he was cast in the films "Stomp the Yard" and "The Gospel." Hires graduated with honors from CAU, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts Radio, TV, and Film.
Hires currently resides and works in Los Angeles. Hires accomplishments include: pilot for MTV’s "Dance Justice", "CBS Diversity Showcase", the MTV hidden camera show "Disaster Date" and a recurring role on the sketch comedy show, "In the Flow with Affion Crockett" on FOX.
Jason JensenVisual Art
Architect, class of 1995
Jason graduated from the PCCA at Gibbs class of 1995. He continued his education graduating in 2001 with a Masters of Architecture degree from the University of Florida. As a Partner in Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Jason has led the firm to 15 AIA Design Awards, the H. Dean Rowe FAIA Award for Design Excellence, and multiple LEED projects including a LEED Platinum Community Center in Largo and a LEED GOLD Fire Station on Lake Maggiore in St. Pete.
The firm has been published extensively nationally and internationally. In 2008 Wannemacher Jensen Architects was named the Tampa Bay American Institute of Architects Firm of the Year. The Firm most recently teamed with Michael Maltzan Architecture of Los Angeles to win the St. Petersburg Pier International Competition Team. Jason was also recognized personally with the Eduardo Garcia Young Architect Award and the University of Florida Young Architects Award.Jason’s work builds upon experiential artistic exploration begun at PCCA. He has investigated light, color theory, computer numerical control, improvisation, music, interactivity, and materiality at varied scales including museum installations, set designs, pavilions, and Architecture.Blaine Krauss
Musical Theater, class of 2010
National Presidential Scholar
Blaine Krauss, who graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music played the role of Jean Valjean in the musical LES MISERABLES February 27-March 9. He will then be performing in his Senior Showcase in New York City on April 7. He has performed at the MUNY in the show TARZAN. Currently in the national tour of the musical Lion King as the understudy for Simba and cast of the male ensemble.Michael Lynche
Musical Theater, class of 2001
Michael Lynche’s life has been defined by two things: love and second chances. The Florida native and
devoted family man’s rise from obscurity was well documented through his riveting appearance on
American Idol. Known to America as “Big Mike,” he was famously “saved” by the judges, giving him a
second chance to continue through the prized competition.
After wowing millions of fans on American Idol with his comforting and powerful voice and performing throughout the United States as part of the American Idol LIVE! tour, Michael has created his sonically rich and lyrically inviting debut album. The first single, “Who’s Gonna Love You More” has been rising steadily on the Urban Adult Contemporary charts. The second single, “Today” has impacted Adult Contemporary and Smooth Jazz radio this summer.
Mike’s heartfelt music has been virtually a lifetime in the making. He got his first guitar when he was three and would take his axe to church, where he would mimic the moves of the band’s guitar player. Beyond church, Michael’s mother shared her love of music with Mike and introduced him to a wide range of artistic sounds and styles, including 2Pac, The Notorious B.I.G., Michael Jackson, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bonnie Raitt and Jimi Hendrix.
Even though Mike was enamored with music and the arts throughout his school, his focus eventually shifted to football. Michael’s work on the gridiron was rewarded when he earned an athletic scholarship to University of Central Florida. It was following a break from school to take care of his ailing mother,
when Mike bought a guitar and a remarkable thing happened. “For the very first time in my life, I could play and sing at the same time,” Mike recalls. “More clicked for me musically. I was writing music to express what I was going through internally with my mom passing.”
Soon thereafter Mike gave music a second chance, when a friend asked him to perform at his wedding in New York City. While Michael was at that point working in the public school system mentoring gifted and at-risk students, in his hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida, he agreed to perform. It was during that trip, walking through Time’s Square, Mike decided moving to the Big Apple to pursue his musical dreams was the right career path. A few years later, Mike auditioned for American Idol, which launched his recording career.
None of Michael’s remarkable journey would have been possible without the love of his wife and the second chances he has enjoyed throughout his life. Now, with Mike’s new album, signed by Big3 Records and CEO Bill Edwards, Mike gets to live out his dreams, both as a family man and musically.
“I’ve wanted to say these things for a long time,” he says. “I feel like I was able to express myself more than ever on this album. I was able to get the things I wanted to say out in song and in melody in a way that I’ve never been able to before.”Kaitlyn Resler
Instrumental Music, French Horn, Class of 2013
Kaitlyn graduated from Juilliard School of Music and is currently performing in The Florida Orchestra. She was the winner of the 2013 National YoungArts Foundation Award, one of 685 recipients nationwide from more than 10,000 applications. Click here for YoungArts website.
Kaitlyn was one of the young musicians featured in NPR (WUSF 89.1) "From the Top" in 2013. For the please click this link. Podcast: http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=510026
Ephraim Sykes is from Saint Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in 2008 and was also a member of Ailey II. Since completing his studies at The Ailey School Ephraim has garnered numerous musical theater and television credits. He has performed on Broadway in productions such as "Hamilton", “Motown, the Musical”, “Newsies!”, “Memphis”, and “The Little Mermaid.” Sykes has also been on television shows such as “30 Rock,” “Smash,” HBO’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Project“, NYC22”, and "Hairspray".
Do you have news of great accomplishments in your arts area? Please send us your good news with your headshot, short bio and graduation year to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Star Bites” from PCCA
- If you went to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to see the National Tour of the David Parsons Dance Company challenging gravity then you have seen a PCCA Dance graduate - Henry Jackson
- If you have been to Dallas, Texas to see the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in performance you have seen a PCCA Music Graduate - James Nichols, French Horn
- If you have seen the National Tour of the Broadway musical "Cats" then you have seen the performance of a PCCA Musical Theatre graduate - Shanna Ursua
- If you have been to see the Disney On Ice World Tour of "Beauty and the Beast" and admired the many specialized costumes you have seen the work a PCCA Technical Theatre graduate - Alicia Skelton
- If you have been to Dillards to view the Givenchy Jewelry collection then you have seen the artwork of a PCCA Visual Arts graduate - Amanda Beatty
- If you have been to New York City to see the Broadway production of "Hairspray" -specifically the lead role of Tracy Turnblatt - you may have seen the work of a PCCA Musical Theatre graduate - Michelle Dowdy
- If you have sat amazed at the intricate foot work and amazing arial leaps of the Mosiyev Dance Company of Russia in performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall, then you have seen aPCCA Dance graduate - Carmela Gallace
- If you had been to the LaScala Opera House in Milan, Italy to enjoy an opera performance you may have heard the vocalizations of a PCCA Music graduate -Jeannai Ratcliff
- If you saw the movie "Pearl Harbor" in movie theaters or on Cable, then you saw a PCCA Performance Theatre graduate - Tim McGhee
- If you have been to Disney World's Magic Kingdom and enjoyed all the character costumes, like Snow White, Cinderella, Captain Hook, and many more, you have seen the costuming work of a PCCA Technical Theatre graduate - Cindy Rockwell
- If you have been to Manhattan and spent time in SOHO visiting the many Professional Art Galleries, there's a good change you have seen the artwork of a PCCA Visual Arts graduate - Eric Gehring
- If you have seen the Pepsi commercial aired on national TV, a street party with a very high energy couple dancing on roof of a car then you have seen a PCCA Dance graduate - Michael Allen
- If you have been to Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and also in Los Angeles, to see the Rockettes perform then you have seen the performance of a PCCA Musical Theatre graduate - Kelly King
- If you were part of the standing ovation at Ruth Eckerd Hall for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performance then you may have seen the performance a PCCA Dance graduate - Briana Reed
- If you saw a performance of the Alvin Ailey II Dance Troop, Ailey's Junior company, then you may have seen the performance of PCCA Dance graduate - Ephraim Sykes
- If you have seen the San Francisco Ballet perform Romeo and Juliet, or gone to Belgium and seen the Maurice Belart Dance Ensemble, then you have seen the performances of a PCCA Dance graduate - Erik Wagner
- If you have seen the off Broadway productions of "Rent" and "Tony & Tina's Wedding" ,then you have seen the acting performances of a PCCA Performance Theatre graduate - Ryan McGuigan
- If you have been to the International Mall in Tampa and marveled at the many wonderful displays, created by a Baltimore Design firm, then you may have seen the work of a PCCA Visual Arts graduate - Alli Jengvieng
- If you have been to see Wesley Snipes most recent blockbuster movie, then you have seen the movie acting debut of a PCCA Performance Theatre graduate - Anthony Fuller
- If you have been to New York and seen the Merce Cunningham Company, Ballet Hispanico, or the Martha Graham company, you may have seen a PCCA Dance Graduate - Shila Tirabassi
- If you go to the University of South Florida to study classical guitar and Jazz guitar, your university instructor will be a PCCA Music graduate - LaRue Nickerson
- If you have seen the New York City Off Broadway production of "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" - specifically the lead role of Willie Wonka, then you have seen the talents of a PCCA Performance Theatre graduate - David Sinclair
- If you have been to see the energetic new movie, "Stomp The Yard" about competitive collegiate stepping, then you have seen the smooth stylings of a PCCA Theatre graduate - Justin Hires
- If you were fortunate to be in Paris, France at the time when Menotti's "The Consul" was being performed at the Paris Opera House you have seen the lighting design of a PCCA Technical Theatre graduate - Barry Steele
- If you have been to New York City to see one of the hottest shows on Broadway "The Lion King" -specifically the lead role of Simba - you may have seen the work of a PCCA Musical Theatre graduate - Marque Lynche
- If you have been to Palm Harbor University High School, and the new Gibbs High School, Pinellas County's newest High School, you have seen the some of the architectural design work of a PCCA Visual Arts graduate - Paul Palmer
- If you were in Washington DC, at the White House, to see the firstPresidental Scholar in the Arts, in the history of the Pinellas County Schools, receive his medallion from President Bush, followed by his performance on stage at the Kennedy Center you have seen a PCCA Music graduate - Kevin Rivard, currently in performance with the Florida Orchestra.
- If you have attended a performance or visited an art gallery of an organization sponsored by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, you have seen the work of a PCCA Visual Artist - Mara Latorre.