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Connecticut teen Terrence Bogan wins national Broadway World singing contest

Terrence Bogan, a recent graduate of Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford, won the high school division of Broadway World’s Next on Stage singing competition. Bogan is seen here in a production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" in his junior year at Sheehan.
Terrence Bogan, a recent graduate of Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford, won the high school division of Broadway World’s Next on Stage singing competition. Bogan is seen here in a production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Cinderella" in his junior year at Sheehan. (Courtesy Terrence Bogan)

Terrence Bogan, a recent graduate of Mark T. Sheehan High School in Wallingford, won the high school division of Broadway World’s Next on Stage singing competition. He outlasted about 800 teenage entrants from around the country.

“It’s kind of a surreal feeling. It’s so awesome,” Bogan said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

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On Monday, Bogan watched the webcast that announced him the winner on the back porch of his Wallingford home with his parents, brother and neighbor. “We’ve been social distancing really well in the neighborhood. My neighbor came over to give me a graduation gift. I said, just stay,” Bogan said.

The judges – Broadway veterans Arielle Jacobs (“Aladdin”), Jackie Burns (“Wicked”) and Kyle Taylor-Parker (“Kinky Boots”) – were full of praise for Bogan’s singing.

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“Terrence has blown us away from the very beginning. … The world is going to be waiting to see him on a Broadway stage,” Jacobs said in the webcast.

“I am in such awe of his talent. I can’t wait to get his single,” Burns said.

Taylor-Parker said of Bogan, “You are unlimited!”

Bogan said he has been a fan of all the judges for years. “Theater is like not a passion with me. It’s an obsession now. I try to know as much as possible about it,” he said. “Even if they had said one word about me, if all they said was ‘that was good,’ I would have went crazy over it.”

Bogan, a top athlete at Sheehan, will begin his freshman year in the fall at Trinity College in Hartford. He will play football, major in either neuroscience or biology and perform in stage productions. “No matter what happens, education comes first,” he said.

In his audition videos for the contest, Bogan performed “A Piece of Sky” from “Yentl,” “As If We Never Said Goodbye” from “Sunset Boulevard,” “I Didn’t Plan It” from “Waitress,” “If I Loved You” from “Carousel,” “Losing My Mind” from “Follies” and “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha.”

In musicals at Sheehan, Bogan portrayed Mufasa in “The Lion King Jr.” and Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast.” Sheehan’s spring 2020 production of “Catch Me If You Can,” in which he was to play the lead, Frank Abagnale, was called off due to the pandemic.

The prizes for the winner are a recording session, a casting session and voice lessons. He said with social distancing restrictions, he does not know when those will happen.

Another prize is a $1,000 donation to a charity of the winner’s choice. Bogan chose the Trevor Project, a suicide-prevention program for LGBTQ youths.

“Being a star athlete in high school, it was hard for me to feel comfortable being openly gay. I luckily had a great support system that I am forever grateful for. I know that there are people who are like me, and totally different from me, who struggle with loving themselves,” he said in an interview posted on broadwayworld.com.

Susan Dunne can be reached at sdunne@courant.com.

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