Oak Park Festival Theatre Presents its Inaugural Young Artist Award For Outstanding Contribution to the Community Through Performing Arts
By Graduating Oak Park River Forest High School Students

Scott Daniel and Jake Shadrake


These two young men have distinguished themselves not only by their musical and musical theatre talents but also for their dedication to sharing their gifts with the community. Their donations of time and talent have brought entertainment to their audiences and their performances have raised considerable and much needed funds for local agencies.

Festival Theatre, which next year will celebrate 40 years of award winning professional theatre, shares this commitment of service, striving to be of their community not just in it.  One of the many ways Festival Theatre works toward the commonweal is by its annual partnership with Prevail in a celebration of the December holidays. This year’s Midwinter’s Tales will be December 7, 2013, at Unity Temple. Both recipients of this inaugural award have performed in that event as one of their many occasions on which they shared their prodigious talents for the benefit of others.

About the Recipients

2013_0726Fest-Theater-Oct-120016Scott Daniel , an Illinois State Fair Junior Fiddle Champion and Concert Master of the Chicago Youth Orchestra, has shared his violin skills with Festival Theatre and Prevail for the past six years, first off in Mrs. Coney and later in Midwinter’s Tales. Among his other concerts for charity are his two sold-out Springtime performances with Ella Gill of “Songs of Hope and Struggle” at Fitzgeralds to benefit Prevail. At this year’s Prevail event, Scott, Ella and fellow recipient Jake Shadrake raised $25,000. Scott shares his talents many Saturday mornings at the Farmers’ Market playing Blue Grass, benefits for Oak Park Temple and OPRF High School student groups, Sunday mornings at the Church of Beethoven, and an upcoming benefit to create a scholarship fund or Oak Park Fiddle Camp. His band, Snake Oil Salesman, frequently perform throughout the area, donating their talents to raise funds for local organizations. A Presidential Scholar (one of three in Illinois and 141 nationwide), Scott is off to Williams College to double major in music and computer science.


Jake Shadrake will be studying music composition at NYU’s Steinhardt this fall. In addition to piano, he plays trumpet, mellophone and tuba. Jake received the Ann Monaco Music Scholarship, The Carl Krafft Fine Arts Scholarship for Music/Speech, the Miller, Cooke, Wood Theatre Scholarship, and the Steinhardt Scholarship from NYU. At OPRF he participated in Take 5, a male a cappella singing group; show choir, marching band, and theater. He composed and arranged the first movement of a Requiem which was performed by the a cappella choir. Jake is a founding member of Monkey Stealing Peach, an alternative rock band (Battle of the Bands Champions in 2010) which has been featured at local benefits, and events. He teamed up with pals Scott Daniel and Ella Gill at benefits for Prevail. Other community service includes performances for Intonations Music Workshop, a film for Sarah’s Inn teen outreach, singing for the Lemon Aid for 9/11 benefit, and working as a mentor for PING!