September 14, 2021
New World School of the Arts welcomes new full-time faculty to its Dance, Music and Theater Divisions. All professionals in their artistic fields, three of the four newly hired faculty members intimately know NWSA, as they are graduates of the respective arts divisions in which they will teach.
DANCE: Gentry Isaiah George (NWSA dance alumnus, 2008), Ballet, Composition & Choreography
Gentry Isaiah George was born in Miami, Florida and studied dance with Linda Agyapong at the Community Book and Dance Academy, with Sylvia Padron at the Charles R. Drew Middle School, and with Vladimir Issaev at Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida. A graduate of New World School of the Arts high school, he also studied on scholarship at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and The Ailey School. Mr. George than went on to graduate from The Juilliard School and to dance professionally with two of the nation’s leading dance companies, the Ailey II Company, and the world-renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem Company under the direction of Virginia Johnson. Mr. George performed works by choreographers Alvin Ailey, Robert Battle, Martha Graham, Ulysses Dove, Judith Jamison, Nacho Duato, Robert Garland, Uri Sands, and others. He has also been a guest performer in works by Peter London (Peter London Global Dance Company), Bessie Award winning choreographer Christopher Williams (Christopher Williams Dance), and others and with New Jersey-based Lustig Dance Theater and with New York City-based choreographer Malcolm Low’s company, Formal Structure. He was featured in the New York Post in 2012 as “one of three men to watch in Ballet” and was also a recipient of a Level1 ARTS Award, given by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts/National YoungArts Foundation. Mr. George has been featured in HBO’s “Masterclass” which also stars former New York City Ballet Principal dancer Jacques d’Amboise and appeared in the feature film “Life of an Actress,” choreographed by Rumi Oyama. In 2013, he founded his company, ZEST Collective, and has created works for that company as well because of commissions from Peter London Global Dance Company, The Juilliard School, Higher Ground Festival (NYC), Randolph College (Lynchburg, VA), and others.
MUSIC: Megan Barrera (NWSA music alumna, 2005), Opera & Voice
Internationally recognized soprano Megan Barrera is a native of Miami, Florida. She is an active performer of both opera and concert repertoire. Most recently, Dr. Barrera made her debut with Divadlo J.K. Tyla Plzni, Czech Republic, singing Micaëla in Carmen. She also received great acclaim in recital with pianist Francisco Soriano in Festival Musical de Cádiz, Spain, and Amor a la Música Espacio Turina, Seville, Spain. Dr. Barrera toured England, Portugal, and Brazil in a Music of the Americas Recital with pianist, Dr. João Paulo Casarotti. Dr. Barrera has won numerous competitions, including first prize at the Certamen Nuevas Voces Ciudad de Sevilla, Spain, 2nd prize at the Gabriela Beňačková International Vocal Competition in the Czech Republic, in addition to prizes at the Certamen Nuevas Voces Ciudad de Sevilla, Spain, Concorso Lirico Premio Koliqi Milan, Italy, and the International Vissi D’arte Competition, Czech Republic. Dr. Barrera holds a DMA and MM from Louisiana State University and a BM from the University of Miami as a full scholarship recipient.
MUSIC: Dr. Hyun Jee Chung (Conductor)
Originally from South Korea, violinist Hyun Jee Chung excels as a recitalist, chamber musician, and educator. As a soloist, Dr. Chung made her debut with the Seoul National Symphony in 2010. Her recent solo engagements include a performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto under the baton of Maestro Bramwell Tovey, and a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Narragansett Bay Symphony Orchestra for their 2020 season. Dr. Chung collaborates on a regular basis with members of such prestigious institutions as Musicians from Marlboro, Vienna Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, and Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich. She has been a regular member of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra since 2017, and has performed in residencies at Schloss Elmau, Tsinandali Festival, and in their concert tour of Hong Kong, China, and Dubai. Prior to her appointment at the NWSA, Dr. Chung taught as a Violin Instructor and Chamber Music Coach at the Boston University College of Fine Arts, and at the Boston String Academy, an inner-city youth program built on the El Sistema model.
“Dr. Chung’s performing career has taken her to different parts of the world to work with great artists in the field,” said Dr. Daniel Andai, Dean of Music at NWSA. “This impressive level of expertise will bring a fresh and exciting approach to our students who will benefit from her artistic interpretations of works performed both as a conductor on the podium and as a violinist. This is a very exciting time for NWSA.”
THEATER: Maggie B. Maxwell (NWSA theater alumna, 2014), Acting
As a native of Miami, Florida, Maggie B. Maxwell realized her strong passion for performance at a very young age. Beginning her formal training at South Miami Middle Community School and New World School of the Arts. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and Political Science at Livingstone College, while participating in many productions at Lee St. Theater, Maggie obtained a Master of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has recently made her SoFlo theater debut in Juggerknot Theater Company’s “Miami Motel Stories”. Since her debut, she has had the opportunity to work with various theater companies in South Florida. Her most recent credits include The South Florida Theater League’s Playwright Development Program’s virtual play reading of “The 6th,” Femuscripts’ virtual Lovefest, and Lovely Light Readings, The African-American Research Library and Cultural Center’s production of “Let the Good Times Rolle,” and a collaborative project between Art Prevails Project and New City Players, “A Love Like This.”
“We often tell our students in the theater division that we are training them not only to be professional actors but to one day work as our colleagues on stage or in the classroom,” explained Patrice Bailey, NWSA Dean of Theater. “Nothing makes me prouder than when our students join us at fellow educators in our program and I am thrilled that Maggy Maxwell has joined our faculty teaching full time in our high school program. I have known her as a hard-working, talented high school student and last year hired her as an adjunct faculty member – teaching ‘acting’ and overseeing our 25-year-old mentor class. When I asked her to teach our mentor class, she said to me that she had come full circle in the theater division. Maggy is going to bring wonderful energy to the program and inspiration to our students.”
New World School of the Arts has also added other NWSA alumni to its roster of Adjunct Faculty including
- MUSIC: Evelyn Saavedra, NWSA music alumna 2010 (Voice)
- THEATER: Carolina Garcia Ordonez, NWSA theater alumna 2011 (Movement, Acting)
- VISUAL ARTS: Sebastian Duncan-Portuondo, NWSA visual arts alumnus 2013 (Painting); Christina Friday, NWSA visual arts alumna 2015 (Drawing); Carlene Munoz NWSA visual arts alumna 2006 (Painting)
About NWSA: Created in by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts (NWSA) is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and University of Florida. NWSA provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative, and academic development through a curriculum that reflects our community and the rich multicultural state of Florida. Through its educational partners, NWSA confers the high school diploma, Associate of Arts degree, and Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance, Music, Theater and Art & Design. New World School of the Arts’ rigorous eight-year curriculum and conservatory-style teaching has empowered students in the South Florida community and the nation to become leaders in the arts.
Information about New World School of the Arts available at nwsa.mdc.edu or by calling 305-237-3135.