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Cibola choir director wins top arts award; dance student named top newcomer
The 16th annual Tribute of the Muses Award went to Brandon Stroup, Director of Choirs at Cibola High School.

The City of Yuma Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission and the City of Yuma presented the 16th annual Tribute of the Muses Award to Brandon Stroup, Director of Choirs at Cibola High School, at its ceremony Friday evening.

The Tribute of the Muses award is given to an individual or group who has shown exemplary devotion and excellence in their field.

Since teaching at Cibola, Stroup has grown the vocal music program by over 300 percent and has directed the advanced choir in performances across the country. He was named Cibola High School Teacher of the Year in 2013 and has been nominated for the Yuma County Teacher of the Year four times. Prior to coming to Yuma, Stroup was the choir director at Phoenix’s Central High School wherein his advanced choir was invited to sing the National Anthem for President Barack Obama. Stroup maintains a small private piano and vocal studio and directs the Yuma Ecumenical Choir.

Stroup previously won the Helios Award at the 2013 Tribute of the Muses ceremony.

This year’s Helios Award, which is given to an outstanding newcomer in the arts as an artist, advocate, or person who supports the arts, went to Angelyna Reichman, 14, a featured dancer and student of Jazz of Yuma. Reichman is an accomplished performer and most recently was the youngest company member of LA Dance Magic, with whom she toured as a commercial dancer. She is also the Freshmen Student Council President at Gila Ridge High School.

The selection of the Tribute of the Muses awards is made by the Parks, Arts, and Recreation Commission and Public Art Committee. The person, persons or group honored reflects acknowledged excellence in a chosen arts field, years of service in the local arts community, leadership, arts advocacy or encouragement of others to become involved in the arts. 

Muse winners represent the visual arts, music, dance, theater or arts philanthropy. For more information please call the Yuma Art Center at 373-5202.