The film, “Song of the Sea” was one of the 5 nominees for best animated feature film at this year’s Academy Awards. Nolwenn Leroy, a Hamilton Rotary exchange student from France who attended HHS and was inducted into the HHS Fine Arts Hall of Fame in 2004, played a large role in the movie. Her beautiful singing voice is featured on 7 songs of the soundtrack, including the title song, “Song of the Sea”.
After her year at Hamilton High, Nolwenn returned to France to complete high school, graduating in 1999. In 2002 she entered and won “Star Academy”, a televised singing competition similar to “American Idol”. The win earned her a 5-year recording contract with Universal (Mercury label). Nolwenn’s performance career has flourished since then. In January 2015, she was ranked 17th on Le Journal du Dimanche’s 50 Most Loved Celebrities in France, making her the top female singer on the list since December 2012.
While living in Hamilton, Nolwenn resided with Rick and Jo Anne Morner and their children, Karla, Ryon, and Derek. She was a member of the Cadet Chorus and played violin in the school orchestra, as well as in the Butler County Youth Orchestra. Nolwenn was also a member the HHS cross country team and swim team. According to Linda Spurrier, Morner’s sister-in-law, Nolwenn “loved our fine arts department and credits it with encouraging her performance skills.”