JM honors top student artists at JMArts award ceremony

Siler City, NC – Nine Jordan-Matthews High School artists received awards on May 28 during an annual ceremony highlighting outstanding student musicians, actors and visual artists. Awards are usually announced as part of JM Awards Night, an annual presentation highlighting top students across all disciplines. But because of the coronavirus pandemic, arts awards were announced by faculty members in video presentations on JMArts Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The awards ceremony is on Twitter at bit.ly/2Ye7W4I or accessible on all platforms with the hashtag #JMAawards2020.

Buck Thornton, a freshman, received the 2020 Young Actor Award for his exceptional work as Jack in the fall production of “Into the Woods,” exhibiting outstanding talent in acting as well as a feel for complicated theatrical music.

Tiana Brooks, a junior, received the 2020 Young Artist Award. The talented artist also was named the 2020 JMArts-Rotary Scholar, won first prize at JM’s “Path to the Woods” fall art show and had work exhibited at the 2019 Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour Student Show.

Dayanara Rodriguez Mata, a freshman, received the 2020 Young Instrumentalist Award for her eagerness to pursue excellence in music and her other coursework, and for the joy and excitement she brings to the stage during performances.

Micaela Lopez, a freshman, received the 2020 Young Vocalist Award for her dedication to developing an exceptional voice while exhibiting an outstanding attitude and dedicated work ethic.

Jimmy Joyner III, a senior, was named the 2020 Outstanding Graduate in Band. The trombonist and four-year band veteran was recognized for his excellence, dedication and perseverance in instrumental performance. He emerged through many challenges with impressive courage and a positive attitude. Jimmy will attend East Carolina University this fall.

Jabez Lujan, a senior, was named the 2020 Outstanding Graduate in Jazz. The four-year band veteran and trombone player performed with JM’s Concert and Marching bands, but was inspired by the performance of the JM Jazz Band during its 2019 Music in May Concert to branch out into the world of jazz. Jabez plans to attend community college this fall.

Kayli McIntosh, a senior, was named the 2020 Outstanding Graduate in Theater. Her performance as Cinderella in “Into the Woods” received wide acclaim, but the actor also excelled in vocal music, performing with the All-Chatham Chorus and receiving the highest rating awarded as a soloist at the 2020 High School Choral MPA statewide evaluations. Kayli will attend UNC Greensboro this fall.

Jackelin Carrillo Ibarra, a senior, was named the 2020 Outstanding Graduate in Visual Art. A member of the National Art Honor Society, she was honored for consistently creating work that is formally, technically and conceptually sound. Jackelin will attend UNC Greensboro this fall.

Jennifer Trejo Benitez, a senior, was named the 2020 Outstanding Graduate in Vocal Music. The JMArts Scholar was winner of the 2019 Sing and Play student music competition, received the highest rating awarded at the 2020 High School Choral MPA statewide evaluations and has performed with the All-Chatham Chorus. She also has received accolades for her memorable dramatic performances, most recently as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” and the Witch in “Into the Woods”. Jennifer reports this summer to begin service in the U.S. Navy.


More information about JMArts, including details about JMArts Scholars and upcoming events, is available at jmarts.org.