NSAL in the News

Scroll down to see to more press about our incredible young artists and the mentors who support their dreams to make it to the next stage!



CBS Miami Features Story on NSAL Preparation for National Drama Competition


CBS News featured NSAL Board Member, Shari Upbin and local drama winner Darius J. Manuel as they prepare for the National Drama Competition. In this Mentoring Matters segement the duo share their stories, the need for mentors and the important role NSAL plays in helping emerging artists ascend to the next stage!



Watch the segment here:




NSAL President Judi Asselta on PBS South Florida

Judi Asselta was Pam Gigante's guest on Your South Florida program airing the South Florida PBS stations. Judi discussed NSAL's mission and the National Drama Competition. See the episode here



Broadway World Features NSAL Star Maker Awards 2019

Lifetime Achievement Award Bestowed Upon Marilynn Wick



The 2019 Star Maker Awards featured the performances by many of the NSAL scholarship and competition winners, along with a humorous and heartfelt speech by Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Marilynn WIck. Read more...



COASTAL STAR Features National Drama Competition

By Ron Hayes

One at a time they will step from behind the curtain and stand center stage at the Crest Theatre in Old School Square.

“Good morning,” they will say, “I’m No. 1.” Then “I’m No. 2. … I’m 
No. 3. ...”                                                                                                                 

They have names, but the trio of judges in the front row won’t know them.

They are from Boynton Beach and Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, but the judges won’t know where they live.

All the judges will know for sure on this Saturday morning, March 9, is that each of them has a dream.

They are 12 aspiring actors — seven young men, five young women — dressed in black slacks, black skirts, black blouses, black shirts.

They have no costumes, no sets, no music, and when they are done, they will have no applause.

All they have is a chair, two brief monologues and eight short minutes with which to attempt to win one of the top three spots in the Florida East Coast Chapter awards for the National Society of Arts and Letters 2019 Drama Competition.

The first-place winner will receive $2,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., for the national competition May 30-June 2 and a chance to win $12,000.



NSAL Star Maker Awards Honoring Marilynn Wick Featured in Boca Raton Observer Magazine


Talking Star Makers on The Radio with the Legendary Ron Hersey

One of South Florida's biggest radio groups, Hubbard which includes WRMF, WIRK, WEAT and more, recently interviewed NSAL President Judi Asselta and Star Marker Co-Chair Kim Champion about the Star Maker Awards and the importance of supporing the emerging artists in our area.




















Broadway World Features our Winston Winners




















The National Society of Arts and Letters Florida East Coast Chapter (www.nsalfloridaeast.org) has announced that two Dreyfoos School of the Arts students secured Winston Scholarships through the NSAL program. The local chapter of NSAL selected Kathryn Dennison and Laura Santamaria Mendez to compete nationally for the Winston scholarships in 2-D Visual Arts and Voice respectively. Both students will be honored at the NSAL Star Maker Awards on April 28, 2019 at Boca West Country Club with the nonprofit organization's other scholarship and competition winners.



Sun Sentinel Shares NSAL's Importance for Emerging Artists

Winning the woodwind first-place competition in the National Society of Arts and Letters Florida East Coast Chapter and placing second in the national competition, Anna Brumbaugh said the encouragement and support she received from the organization was even more valuable than the prize money she won.

“It’s one of the highest paying competitions you can do in the U.S., but I’m most grateful to become part of the NSAL family…Even if you don’t place, to be surrounded by an arts organization that cares so much about fostering a strong sense of success in the youth of classical musicians in South Florida, it’s really rare and really special. I encourage anyone who is eligible to apply,” she said.

Every year the competition is different, and this year, the chapter is focusing on drama for ages 18 to 28 who aren’t currently represented by professional management. 




NSAL Featured in Broadway World

NSAL Florida East Coast Chapter Hosts Nation’s First

Collaborative Piano and Brass Duo Competition


The National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) Florida East Coast Chapter recently held the nation’s first Collaborative Piano and Brass Duo Competition. The event, held at Lynn University in Boca Raton, is the only competition in the United States which recognizes and awards the duo as two parts of equal importance, akin to figure skating pairs. The competition was generously sponsored by Donald Mandich, and the winning duo was Sodienye Finebone on tuba and Kristi Mezinez on piano.

“We are thrilled to be the first competition of this kind,” said Judi Asselta, NSAL Florida East Coast Chapter president. “And to provide these outstanding musicians with monetary awards to support their educational pursuits."

Read More Here:  https://www.broadwayworld.com/fort-lauderdale/article/NSAL-Florida-East-Coast-Chapter-Holds-Nations-First-Collaborative-Piano-Brass-Duo-Competition-20181119




Thanks to WPTV and John Favole for interviewing Judi Asselta, President of NSAL and Woodwind competition scholarship second place winner, James Abrahamson on the program to talk about how NSAL supports our area's rising young stars.

Watch the segment here:







NSAL on The CW South Florida

Thanks to The CW South Florida for having Judi Asselta, President of the NSAL Florida Chapter and artist Ana Gonzalez on the program! Ana has been selected to compete nationally for the Winston 2-D Art scholarship. She and Judi shared all of the exciting ways NSAL is enriching the lives our emerging artists. The show airs in Broward and Dade.

Watch the segment here:








NSAL Star Maker Awards Showcased in Sun-Sentinel Society

The National Society of Arts & Letters Florida East Coast Chapter recently had their Star Maker Awards at Royal Palm Yacht and Country Club in Boca Raton. This event showcased many of the organization's scholarship recipients and honored the supporters who fund the nonprofit organization.  

NSAL aims to discover talented young people at the beginning of their careers and provides scholarships and competitions in art, dance, drama, literature, music and musical theater, and works to advance their careers and creative opportunities.

"It was truly a dazzling event," stated event chair Kim Champion. "We were thrilled to award scholarships to college and advanced degree students in multiple categories including woodwinds, strings, visual arts, piano and theater. This prestigious recognition is a coveted achievement, and the funds will help our winners advance their studies and careers."

Past and present scholarship recipients from Lynn Conservatory of Music and the FAU School of Music delighted guests with a splendid repertoire of classical and Broadway favorites. To see an array of photos from the event http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features/society/palm-beach/fl-society-starmaker-awards-20180402-story.html


NSAL's Alyce Erickson Interviewed in The Palm Beach Post 

The National Society of Arts and Letters (NSAL) Florida East Coast Chapter is hosting its third annual “High School Photography Program” exhibition at Florida Atlantic University’s Theatre Lab.

The photography program was spearheaded two years ago by Boca Raton resident, volunteer and mentor for young artists Alyce Erickson. Since then, the program has expanded from one to four high schools and features 60 students from Boca Raton High School, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Jupiter High School and Pembroke Pines Charter School. 

This program was the first of its kind to be created by an NSAL chapter.

A master class and lecture were conducted by Cathaleen Curtiss, director of photography for The Buffalo News and a former White House news photographer. She was joined by her husband, Mickey Osterreicher, an award-winning photojournalist and general counsel for the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA). Read the full story https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/local/her-passion-mentoring-young-artists/5AKHgB0SpJaCvBylAqMCJJ/


NSAL Star Maker Awards Featured in Boca Life

"All of the dedicated young artists that we honored at The Star Maker Awards have committed themselves to excellence," said Judi Asselta, Florida East Coast Chapter president. "While we admire their talent, it is their ceaseless determination to perfect their skills that leaves us all in awe. We were all mesmerized by their performances and feel a great sense of pride in knowing that we have had a role in nurturing their success."

During the event, NSAL also honored two people who have been an inspiration to the organization. Shari Upbin received the Past President's Award and renowned musician Marshall Turnkin received the Lifetime Achievement Award.






NSAL's Photography Competition Judges Featured in Sun-Sentinel

Your cell phone camera is not just a feature, but an instrument, which after a bit of practice, you can use to capture interesting things you see and feel, said Cathaleen Curtiss, a former White House news photographer for three presidents.

Curtiss will be the master photography class lecturer at the annual High School Photography Program Exhibition and Student Workshop from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 10 at the Florida Atlantic University Theatre Lab, Parliament Hall, First Floor, 777 Glades Road, in Boca Raton . The 3-year-old event is sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters Florida East Coast Chapter. The exhibition will remain on display through March 23.  Read more:








More News

NSAL Scholarship Recipients Win International Competition

  Yasa Poletaeva, past winner of an NSAL Scholarship for violin and Darren Matias, past winner of an NSAL Scholarship for piano have just won the International Liszt- Garrison Music Competition in Columbus, Ohio. Watch the Video of their amazing performance.   Your browser does not   Read More

NSAL National Conference praised by New York Director/Producer

  Dear Florida East Coast Chapter,   Now that I am back in N.Y.C. and having had time away to evaluate my experience with NSAL during the En Pointe Ballet Competition I want you to know how much this really meant to me.    Working with my dear friend Shari Upbin and NSAL, I   Read More

Yasa Poletaeva and Darren Matias - Contrast Duo, Live in New York

  “The internationally-renowned duo is back in New York City with their much awaited piano and violin program featuring the masterpieces of Beethoven, Adams, Rachmaninoff, and their exciting Improvisations.”   September 2 at 5 p.m. National Opera Center 330 7th Avenue, 7th Floor   Read More