2 local students win Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards, trip to compete Jimmy Awards

ByMarsha Jordan and Hosea Sanders WLS logo
Tuesday, May 14, 2024
2 suburban students win trip to NYC to compete in Jimmy Awards
The Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards were just presented and 2 suburban students are headed to NYC to compete in the Jimmy Awards.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Illinois High School Musical Theater Awards were just presented and two Chicago area students have won the trip of a lifetime to perform in New York.

They'll compete with teenagers from all over the country for top honors.

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About 6,300 students from 80 high schools around the state take part in this program, helmed by Broadway in Chicago. They performed at the Broadway Playhouse Monday night before winners were announced.

The finalists are George Spiegel from Maine South High School in Park Ridge and Jazmin Rhodes from Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Rhodes was a runner up in 2023; now she's going to Broadway.

"I say keep pushing, if you don't get it the first time, try again, never ever give up on yourself and believe that you are so much more powerful than you think," she said.

Spiegel was overwhelmed by the honor.

"I don't know how I got here, am I holding this, does this belong to me, did I steal this?" he said immediately after.

Their families are ready to watch the young stars shine.

"I know how hard he worked, so to see him fulfill his dream is exciting," said mom Cindy Spiegel.

"I see somebody who's passionate and so curious about how far he can in his own direction," said Tim Spiegel, father.

"She was 14 days old, she would do these hymnal sounds. It sounded like she was practicing for a choir," said Warren Rhodes, Jazmin's father.

"I know the talent is there, I see it, I hear it, but I'm just in shock," said her mom Linda Rhodes.

The winners now head to the Jimmy Awards on June 24 where they'll compete with young performers from across the nation.