Rebecca Naomi Jones, an alumna of the School of Drama, is nominated for a Grammy Award as part of the original Broadway cast of “Oklahoma!” The recording is nominated as Best Musical Theater Album. In addition, violinist Jessica McJunkins, a graduate of the School of Music, performed in Beyoncé’s “The Homecoming,” which is nominated for Best Music Film.
“These nominations are perfect examples of how UNCSA is powering creativity on the world’s stage. These alumni – and many more – are performing at the top of their industries,” said Interim Chancellor Brian Cole. “With exceptional talent and the benefit of our conservatory training, the sky is the limit. We’ll be cheering on Rebecca and Jessica when the winners are announced.”
The Grammy Award ceremony will be broadcast on CBS at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.
UNCSA alumni were involved in four of the five shows with albums nominated in the musical theater album category. In addition to “Oklahoma!” they include “Ain’t Too Proud – the Life of the Temptations,” “Hadestown” and “Moulin Rouge.”
Jones was nominated for a 2019 Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress for her performance as Laurey in Broadway’s reimagined revival of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. “Oklahoma!” opened in April and was nominated for eight Tonys and 12 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical by both organizations.
Jones has previously performed on Broadway in “Passing Strange,” “American Idiot” and “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” Her television credits include “Smash,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Law & Order SVU” and “Blue Bloods.” She graduated in 2003.
McJunkins, who graduated in 2009, has shared the stage with music royalty including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Norah Jones, Smokey Robinson, The Roots, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Yolanda Adams and Solange. She has performed with Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, and Soulful Symphony. Her Broadway credits include “West Side Story,” “South Pacific,” “Shrek,” “Next to Normal” and “Pretty Woman.”
November 22, 2019