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Faces and Places – Vacaville Reporter

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Performers at the 2023 Western Youth Theater Festival, February 17-19 in Sacramento. (Photo courtesy of Western Junior Theater Festival)

Vallejo resident, retired Navy Veteran #StillServing

Vallejo resident and retired U.S. Navy Medical Corps Capt. Tom Snyder was honored for his dedication to his country and community at the VFW #StillServing event. The National Veterans of Foreign Wars #StillServing (vfw.org/stillserving) campaign recognizes veterans who continue to serve their communities after leaving the military.

Vallejo resident and retired U.S. Navy Medical Corps Capt. Tom Snyder was honored for his dedication to his country and community at the VFW #StillServing event. (Photo courtesy of Tom Snyder)

Snyder dedicated his post-military life to preserving and educating the history of those who went to sea in the name of our country. He co-founded the Naval Medical History Society to promote research, scholarship, and publication in all aspects of naval and maritime medical history. In addition, he founded Albany Base Hospital Society No. 33, the Albany Medical School’s alumni military group that provides veterans with camaraderie and a place to exchange maritime stories and hear educational presentations.

Snyder also served with the U.S. Medal of the Navy, the nation’s oldest naval history organization, and led its San Francisco Medal Command. Lastly, he was surgeon for VFW Post 1123 in Vallejo.

Snyder said he’s #StillServing because he’s proud of what he served and what he did, and wants to give back to all the veterans who have served this country in his own unique way.

Local students win national awards at West Junior Theater Festival

Local students won national awards and earned other recognition at the 2023 Western Youth Theater Festival, held Feb. 17-19 at UC Davis Health Complex in Sacramento.

Students representing Vacaville’s Starbound Theater received the Freddie G Award for Outstanding Production and Vallejo student Coco Stats received the Freddie G Award for Outstanding Individual Performance.

As Freddie G Outstanding Production recipients, Starbound Theater students performed for all festival attendees during the awards ceremony.

Additionally, Cassie Salvador and Sierra Meredith of Starbound Theatre, and Molly Stats and Elisabeth Valentine of On The Fringe Visual and Performing Arts were selected as the Youth Theater Festival All-Stars, an exceptional group of performers.

At the festival, each group performed a 15-minute Broadway JuniorĀ® musical for the judges.

On The Fringe Visual and Performing Arts presents excerpts from Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical JR. and Starbound Theater present Seussical JR selections. Actor Jed Jones (The Schoolgirl; or, Mean Girls Africa at the Roundhouse Theatre); Broadway composer and lyricist Rob Rokicki (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), founder, innovation and creation of Bay Area Children’s Theater Power speaker and consultant Nina Meehan.

Meehan said of On The Fringe Visual and Performing Arts, “This Matilda is full of heart! The audience felt the enthusiasm of youth in ‘Rebel’, reminding us all that youth have a powerful and powerful voice in the world, Positive change can be made. This program gives young people the opportunity to show their leadership skills, their heart and their passion.”

Meehan said of Starbound Theatre, “Seussical JR at Starbound Theatre. A party from start to finish! This group showed us truly unique interpretations of characters, strong soloists, backed by a dynamic ensemble. Starbound is clearly providing strong training to its young participants while instilling a clear love of storytelling.”

Adds Rokicki, “Seussical JR at Starboard. Looks fun! Such a strong ensemble piece, with lovely musical skill, and a clear and focused performance. This group showed us that their home program fosters teamwork. Their show showcases how people of all ages and abilities can come together to tell a compelling story.”

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