Webb's Doppelt, Kelly Named Finalists for ACE Awards Youth Talent Competition

Connor Kelly ’20 to compete in Open Singing – Instrumental Vocal category at ACE’s singing awards, January 13, at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville
Webb School senior Gwyneth Doppelt and sophomore Connor Kelly were selected as finalists for the 2017-2018 ACE (Alliance for Creative Excellence) Awards, formerly the Bijou Awards youth talent competition.

Doppelt and Kelly were among the 220-plus area high school students, representing nine counties in East Tennessee, to audition this past fall for the ACE Awards, which showcases students’ talents in acting and singing. Finalists perform before a live audience and the winners in each category take home an award and are recognized via ACE Awards’ social media. New this year, the audience determines the winners as opposed to a panel of judges.

According to Webb alumnus Jay Apking ’86, director/producer and chairman of the ACE Awards, this year marks an increased commitment to grow the awards program and to feature the awards at various venues across the city.

Doppelt was a finalist in the acting awards, now called the Marion Brown Awards and produced in conjunction with University of Tennessee’s Theater Department. She competed in the Shakespeare category, January 6, at Clarence Brown’s Lab Theatre.

Connor Kelly, a finalist in the Open Singing – Instrumental Vocal category at ACE’s singing awards, will compete this Saturday, January 13, at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville, beginning at 7 p.m.

A “Battle of the Bands” competition is scheduled for later this spring.

Webb School students have a proud history of success at the annual Bijou/ACE awards. Class of 2017 alumni Olivia da Ponte and Alexander Lee were finalists at last year’s contest. Also, fellow classmates Brandon Bradbury and Noah Winter spearheaded the addition of and were judges for a new category: Short Film. Da Ponte, along with Jackson Mullins ’17, was also a finalist in 2016. In 2015, Webb alumnus Nathan Wolfenbarger ’15 won in the Male Singing category for the second year in a row, while his classmates Chase Brown, Graham Rogers and Genevieve Hendrix were selected as finalists.