Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Each week during the 2014 "Vocalist Junior" competition at The Media Theatre a young 13 year old with a lilting, smooth, silky voice held the audience in the palm of her hands. Her name is Molly Sorensen. It's a name you'll be hearing a lot of in years to come. The Malvern resident went on to win the contest with lovely renditions of the Broadway classics "The Wizard and I" from Wicked and "Home" from Beauty and the Beast during the final round.
Molly Sorensen, left, reacts when her name is called as the 2014 "Vocalist Junior".
Beside her is second place "Junior" Lexi Gwynn
During the Finals, Artistic Director Jesse Cline, usually seated on stage left to chat with the contestants as he marks his ballot, was unable to attend. The Media Theatre's Roger Ricker, who instructs several acting classes, took Cline's chair but was not a judge for the evening. He did, however, chat with each young singer after their performances.

Of Sorensen, Ricker said, "You have an ability to cause people to like a song they may not have originally been fond of. You do not belt more than you should. It all seems so effortless."

Ricker reminded the audience that 'we should send a huge amount of applause to Jesse Cline during his absence to thank him for creating the summer contest which gives young performers an opportunity to perform in front of large audiences. They learn more about themselves and we learn more about them. Without Cline's vision and mission we would not be here tonight.' The audience, knowing Cline would be able to see the message on video, sent him healthy applause. 
The 2014 Vocalist Junior Top Five: Molly Sorensen (Winner in center). At Left: Gaea Lawton and Lauren Hackett. At Right: Amanda Treston and Lexi Gwynn
The four guest judges were also fond of Molly Sorensen, as she was crowned the winner. The judges were Barrymore Award winning actor Jeff Coon, Media Borough Council President Brian Hall, Crozer Regional Cancer Center's Ray Vivacqua, and Iron Workers Bank President John Whittig.

The young lady received a $500 check presented by Whittig and a gift card to attend productions at The Media Theatre. Most likely, she gained hundreds of fans due to her delightful performances each week.

Malvern should be proud as three of the top five are residents of the Main Line borough. Second place went to 11 year old Lexi Gwynn, who performed a "Broadway Baby" complete with a suitcase and a costume which presented her as a traveling stage hopeful. The young performer started the competition as a resident of West Chester, but now resides in Malvern. Fifth place went to Malvern's 10 year old Amanda Treston.

Gaea Lawton, 12, of Avondale received third place from the judging panel. Media was represented well by 13 year old Lauren Hackett who took fourth place.

Bill Vargus kept the night moving as emcee with Chris Ertelt as the "Vocalist Junior" pianist. Ertelt will be the Media Music Theatre Company's 2014-15 Broadway Series music director. The organization produces the summer "Vocalist" events as well. 

For information on upcoming acting classes or The 2014-15 Broadway Series at The Media Theatre, call 610-891-0100 or visit

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