Arts and Entertainment

Maya Lee-Parritz

By Michael Fuchs
Published: September 2009

Senior Maya Lee- Parritz represents one of the rare “triple-threats in the performing arts. Lee-Parritz’ unparalleled devotion to dance, singing, and theatre are plainly obvious, and catapult her to a level of technical skill that few possess.

Whether or not she continues to exploit her aptitude in the performing arts later in life, Lee-Parritz will always find comfort in these endeavors.

During her younger years, she kept her talent for singing largely to herself. Yet, when the Oscar winning movie Titanic opened in theatres, her talent surfaced, ultimately catching her mother’s attention. After singing the motion picture’s widely acclaimed song, “My Heart Will Go On, Lee-Parritz’ mother enrolled her in the local choir.

While her mother was quick to support Lee-Parritz in her pursuit of singing, she was slightly less enthusiastic about her daughter’s interest in dance. Lee-Parritz’s parents were concerned that joining dance classes would force her to succumb to “peer pressure; however, despite her parents’ initial unease with dance, “it turns out that I really loved it, Lee-Parritz said.

Unlike singing and dancing, Lee-Parritz’ talent for theatre surfaced later in life; as a freshman, her friends encouraged her to begin auditioning. After Lee-Parritz’ performance in Urinetown, she began to seek other opportunities in theatre.

“Everyone has that one thing that they do to express the things they can’t express with words.
– Maya Lee-Parritz, ‘Ëœ10

Recently, Lee-Parritz has also been cast in the South Stage productions Woman and Wallace, Guys and Dolls, and Edges.

That being said, Lee-Parritz argues that her true passion lies in singing and dancing, rather than in theatre. “Dance is an expression of my soul, Lee-Parritz said. To focus on ballet, she has transitioned from a general dance school to a school that focuses solely on ballet.

Although she recognizes ballet is the hardest style of dance to master, she believes that it helps hone the fundamentals of body movement and spatial configuration. Lee-Parritz spends approximately three hours a day on ballet every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as a way to relax before starting her homework.

When she is not dancing or finishing homework, Lee-Parritz practices with Newton South’s nationally recognized a cappella group, Newtones.

Lee-Parritz’ experience with Newtones began during her freshman year when she felt the need to get involved upon entering high school.

Although the likelihood of being selected for Newtones seemed improbable, she was ultimately among the fortunate few chosen to participate in the group.

Since her audition, Lee-Parritz has been given countless opportunities to practice and demonstrate her singing abilities. Last year, the Newtones collaborated with Ben Folds on his new album.

“[We] spent five hours with a celebrity, but talked to him as if he were a friend, Lee-Parritz said.

Newtones also performs at school events, at Acafest, and at an a cappella competition in New Jersey. Although Newtones is a high school organization, “we want to be at the caliber of college students, she said.

While she is surrounded by popular music chosen by Newtones, her passion for folk music remains unchanged. Lee-Parritz recognizes that there is a clear distinction between what she likes to listen to and what is most practical for the a cappella group to sing.

“I like Bob Dylan but Bob Dylan doesn’t translate well into a cappella, she said.

Despite her passion for the performing arts, Lee-Parritz is considering either literature or psychology as a potential major in college. Although her childhood ambitions of being a professional ballerina or a pop star have evolved, Lee-Parritz is still looking for a college that offers singing, dance and theatre.

Lee-Parritz views her artistic abilities as a unique means to express herself.

“Everyone has that one thing that they do to express the things they can’t express with words, she said. Lee-Parritz puts her soul into dance, music, and theatre, which allows her to channel her thoughts and emotions into her performances.

She acknowledges that through her experiences at Newton South she has been able to perfect these artistic abilities.

Depending on where she goes to college, she hopes to return to Newton South to watch the productions put on by South Stage.

Lee-Parritz is a talented young woman with a fine skill for a multitude of performing arts.

While dance, theatre, and singing may not ultimately represent her chosen profession, her experience and success in the arts will undoubtedly help her to pursue any endeavor she seeks in the future.

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