Posts tagged with "School of Rock"

Ava Della Pietra, Vaughn Lowery, 360 Magazine

Ava Della Pietra New Song

Back in December, 360 spotlighted singer/songwriter Ava Della Pietra’s beautiful and uplifting holiday song “Christmas Tonight,” saying it had “all the ingredients of a Christmas classic.” The preternaturally accomplished young artist began performing at age four and writing songs at age five, before starring in the original Broadway cast of School of Rock. “Christmas Tonight” saw a big response, with Tiger Beat Magazine calling it “one of the best holiday songs of 2019” and Newsday calling Ava a “rising star.”

Now, on the heels of that success, Ava is releasing her next single, “Optimist,” an inspiring new song about keeping a positive mindset. The song is one of forty that Ava has written, and one of ten already produced, to be featured on her debut EP, slated for release later this year. “I wrote ‘Optimist’ because there are a lot of problems that face society today,” she told American Songwriter. “No matter how hard it gets, we need to realize that we are one community, and together, we can have hope for a better future. With all the adversity, we must take action, rise above, and know that we will be alright. We all need a little optimism right now.” Listen to “Optimist” here.

We spoke to Ava about the inspiration behind “Optimist,” how she stays positive, and her plans for the rest of 2020.

360: Ava, thank you for chatting with us! Can you tell us a little more about “Optimist”? What inspired you to release it during this challenging time?

Ava Della Pietra: Of course! “Optimist” is all about overlooking the negatives and focusing on the positive aspects of everyday life, and just being hopeful. I think optimism is especially important during times like these, when people are experiencing a lot of frightening and difficult situations. I hope that my music can help everyone cope during this pandemic.

360: How do you stay optimistic when you are feeling down? Do you have any daily routines or rituals that help you stay focused and positive when things get tough?

Ava: If I am feeling frustrated or nervous, I usually blast out my favorite music and dance until I feel better. I talk a lot with my family and friends about anything that is bringing me down, and they usually have good advice on how to handle it. Also… I have two amazing dogs who are always there for me!

360: We hear a lot of different influences in “Optimist.” Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations? Who are your inspirations outside of music?

Ava: I love Ariana Grande, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and many others. Outside of music, I am very inspired by a lot of female leaders such as Katherine Johnson, Marie Curie, and Jane Goodall.

360: You have had an incredible career for someone your age, both in theater and music. Do you have any recommendations for other people your age who are interested in becoming a recording artist?

Ava: I know that every kid hears this a thousand times, but work hard and follow your dreams. In my experiences, I try to have as much fun as possible with anything I’m doing. Since I know that this business can be stressful and you’re only a kid once, I try to bring out all the positive aspects of performing.

360: What’s next for you? Do you have plans to release more music or go on tour this year, after venues reopen?

Ava: Over the next year, I will be releasing various other original songs and I will continue to record new singles. I am looking forward to performing live again soon, and sharing my music with others face-to-face.

Follow Ava Della Pietra: Website | Instagram | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter

Amanda Elkins, Nickelodeon, 360 MAGAZINE, Savannah May

Savannah May

Actress Savannah May can next be seen leading the cast of the Lifetime original movie,
“The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders” opposite Denise Richards. In the movie, Savannah plays ‘Ava’ an incoming transfer student, reluctantly tries out for the cheerleading team at the insistence of her overly-ambitious mother, Candice (Richards). Katrina (Allie DeBerry, A.N.T Farm), the head cheerleader and most popular girl in school, unexpectedly cozies up to Ava who makes the squad and instantly becomes high school royalty. As she transitions into her new life, Ava discovers becoming part of the squad comes at a price. “The Secret Lives of Cheerleaders” is produced by HYBRID. Additionally, Peter Sullivan serves as the director and Anna White serves as the writer. The show airs September 2nd at 8pm PST / EST.

The nineteen-year-old actress is best known for her role one Nickelodeon’s series “Knight Squad” where she played the series regular role of “Buttercup.”

Savannah was born on August 12, 2000 in Sugarland, Texas. At the age of 4, she caught the acting bug after seeing her first musical with her family. She would go on to explore her talents to become a triple threat in singing, dancing and acting. At 11-years-old, Savannah started training at the Theater Under the Stars (TUTS), Humphrey School of Musical Theater where she trained for over 5 years to develop her craft. She has performed alongside multiple respected Broadway alumni through TUTS and performed for iTheatrics in New York City. Through iTheatrics, Savannah had the opportunity to perform on Broadway with the cast of “Chicago” for a special tribute (what year did this happen). Cast performers at the time included Chita Rivera (Sweet Charity), Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers, Jumanji), Joel Grey (Cabaret) and more to celebrate John Kander’s 90th birthday. Years later she would move to Los Angeles to pursue acting, booking her first full-time gig on the pilot of Nickelodeon’s “Knight Squad,” which debuted in the Spring of 2018. Savannah also appeared in Nickelodeon’s “School of Rock” (2017), Disney’s “Bizaardvark” (2016) playing Jade, and now she’s filming season 2 of Nickelodeon’s “Knight Squad,” premiere in early 2019.

Savannah is a supporter of the fine arts. She regular supports the River Performing and Visual Arts Center in Texas, amongst others. Currently she resides in Burbank California.

Photo by Amanda Elkins


In celebration of his 70th birthday, ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER UNMASKED: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION was recently released through UMe / Polydor.


As one of the most successful composers of the modern era, Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s repertoire includes some of the world’s most celebrated musicals; Sunset Boulevard, Cats, Aspects Of Love, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Starlight Express, The Phantom of The OperaSchool of Rock and Love Never Dies – to name but a few.

Last year, Lloyd Webber became the only person to equal the record set in 1953 by Rodgers & Hammerstein with four shows running concurrently on Broadway (Sunset Boulevard, Cats, The Phantom of the Opera and School of Rock). Two of his shows are currently running in both Broadway and the West End: School Of Rock and The Phantom of the Opera, and his musicals have grossed more than $13.6  billion and have been watched by 302 million people across 44 countries. He has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

The collection is personally curated and overseen by Lloyd Webber to include classics from his earliest work starting with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat through his most recent School of Rock.

Of the new album, Lloyd Webber says: “I owe everyone involved in putting this compilation together a huge thank you.  A vast amount of thought has evidently gone into selecting tracks from my almost fifty year old career. This compilation brings back a heap of memories – it has made this ancient composer very happy.  I particularly love the new tracks and of course I love the orchestral suites. There’s nothing a composer likes more than hearing their melodies played by a cracking orchestra.”

Newly recorded songs from superstar artists Lana Del Rey (“You Must Love Me”, Evita), Nicole Scherzinger (“Memory”, Cats) and Gregory Porter (“Light at the End of the Tunnel”, Starlight Express) and add to the collection of his cherished works from the past five decades.

Of Lloyd Webber, Lana Del Rey says, “Andrew Lloyd Webber has been one of my primary inspirations in music, so to do a cover of one of his songs is a dream.”

Gregory Porter also expresses his admiration, “Andrew is an icon of not only musical theatre, but he’s an icon of music, our culture, and of our human experience.”

The Cats classic “Memory” by Nicole Scherzinger is available now as an instant grat track. Of being on the album, Scherzinger says, “Andrew’s music absolutely influenced me as an artist… It’s hard for me to fathom that I’m a part of one of Andrew’s career defining albums. That is in itself career defining for me. It’s a dream, and a lifelong accomplishment.”

The set also contains recordings by world-class performers such as Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman, Michael Ball, and released for the first time, Beyonce singing “Learn To Be Lonely” from the 2005 Academy Awards with Lloyd Webber accompanying on piano.

UNMASKED: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION is available as 2 CD and 4 CD editions. The 4-disc version contains an exclusive 40-page book with a personally penned introduction from Lloyd Webber and in-depth notes on each track, written by respected theatre critic and Lloyd Webber biographer Michael Coveney, together with tributes from Barbra Streisand and Glenn Close among others.

The fourth disc encompasses a mix of overtures and showstoppers from Lloyd Webber‘s key works, as well as newly created orchestral suites. The five new orchestral suites have been specially prepared from existing recordings, emphasising the grand orchestral aspects of his work. All CDs were mastered at Abbey Road Studios.

Lloyd Webber‘s productions have sold more than 330 million tickets worldwide. The Phantom of the Opera is the longest-running show on Broadway and second longest-running show in West End history. Cats and The Phantom of the Opera are two of Broadway’s four highest grossing shows. The Phantom of the Opera original cast album is the No. 1 Broadway album of all time in the U.S. and the #175 biggest seller among ALL albums of the SoundScan era in the U.S.  In addition to his worldwide sales and audiences, Lloyd Webber has been recognised by critics and peers with numerous accolades and awards including seven Oliviers, seven Tonys, three Grammys, one Golden Globe and an Oscar.

“Andrew Lloyd Webber Tribute to a Superstar” airs TODAY –  Wednesday, March 28 on NBC


Lloyd Webber’s new autobiography UNMASKED, was released by HarperCollins on March 6th.