Saturday, May 23, 2015


The Media Theatre is where you'll find the best local up and coming talent this summer in the 2015 "Vocalist" and "Vocalist Junior" contests. Young singers from elementary school age through college and a bit beyond will entertain audiences twice per week beginning July 8 for five weeks. Media Music Theatre Company produces the event each summer.

The 2015 contestants feature a highter percentage of newcomers to The Media Theatre stage than in year's past, plus a set of twins and two-out-of-three triplets (the third is into sports, to keep the family well-balanced). 

They're culled from recent auditions held at the theatre's new School and Dance Studio in Media. The actual contest performances will take place at the theatre (104 East State Street). Ages 14-24 will sing their hearts out Wednesday nights at 7pm during "The Vocalist" with the tots and pre-teens ages 7-13 in "The Vocalist Junior" taking the stage Sunday nights at the same early evening hour. Iron Workers Bank is the annual sponsor. 

They'll be slight changes to the contest this year, but the main format remains the same. No one is eliminated until after Week Three in either competition, so each singer has ample opportunity to hone their craft in front of a live enthusiastic audience. Equal parts contest and educational opportunity, "The Vocalist" allows each contestant to have equal recognition and deserved applause during the first three weeks.

"Audiences will actually get to see each contestants grow," said the music theatre company's Artistic Director Jesse Cline. "The contestants will feel more at home on the stage as they have three weeks to do their best, without the constant pressure of not returning the following week."

Cline continued, “We also look at this as an educational experience. So, rather than singing one song and leaving the competition, each vocalist has the opportunity to learn a bit more about what it takes to perform in front of an audience on a professional stage.”
Cline, as the one constant judge, is a part of an important process in the competition. He will have an extra category on his ballot that will not appear on the guest judges' tally sheets. His added category is entitled Individualism, which reflects his connection to the singers each week and his rapport with them following their performances. "In getting to know them more than the other judges it seems logical that I would have this extra category. There may be a week in which a young singer falters a bit...but I will know what they are capable of and who they are. The Individualism category speaks to the fact that each contestant is unique. Their interests and what is best for them should come first. Each has their own story to tell in their own way."
The guest judges will mark their ballots in three categories. The added category of Song Choice will join Vocal Ability and Stage Presence. Cline will have those three, plus his extra category. All categories will utilize a 1-10 ranking system with 1 being the lowest score and 10 being the highest possible.
Online voting will take place again this year, not affecting any outcome until after Week Three. As with the judges’ scoring, the online voting will also be accumulated for three weeks. After week three, the online scores will be tallied and the person with the most votes online will receive an added 30 points to their total score. The additional points may or may not assist them in moving forward. The second place online vote-getter will receive an added 25 points, with the third receiving 20 extra. Vote-getters four through ten receive 15 extra points, and those who rank eleven through fifteen online will gain 10 extra to possibly move them into the Semi-Finals.
Also, for every 10 tickets purchased in a contestant's name (with the patron mentioning their favorite singer's name when buying tickets) an extra point is added to the score. This is similar to television singing competitions in which the singers who do the best on i-tunes get extra points to stay in the contest.
The Semi-Finals will see the Top 25 sing during week four of each "Vocalist" competition, with 15 returning for The Finals.

The 2015 “Vocalist” and its junior counterpart have a high percentage of newcomers to the contest, with several returning. “We value our first-time Media Theatre performers,” Cline said. “To have so many aspiring vocalists from Delaware County and the Philadelphia region interested in our programs here is a big stamp of approval.”
The "Vocalist Junior" contestants on Sunday nights for 2015 starting July 12 are: Josh Atkinson, 10, Drexel Hill; Cecilia Bailey, 10, West Chester; Morgan Bitzberger, 13, Thornton; Ava Briglia, 8, Media; Shannon Clark, 12, Havertown; Joseph Colasante, 12, Brookhaven; Ava Courtney, 10, Garnet Valley; and Larissa Culbertson, 13, Wayne.
Also Jamie Day, 12, Media; Paige Day, 12, Media; Zachary Divito, 9, Aston; Evelyn Doran, 11, Glenolden; Gabrielle Dove, 8, Sharon Hill; Bridget Duffy, 13, Thornton; Cassidy Else, 10, Drexel Hill; Molly Evanko, 12, West Chester; Elaina Fitzgerald, 12, Wallingford; Veronica Garrubbo, 12, Berwyn; Lars Halldin, 13, Norristown.

And Ava Kelly, 11, Phoenixville; Skylar Kelly, 11, Phoenixville; Sean Lock, 11, Malvern; Kieran McCarney, 13, West Chester; Elizabeth Mercier, 12, Brookhaven; Fiona Moser, 12, Havertown; Divya Samant, 13, Malvern; Sarah Shoumer, 10, Wayne; Christina Smith, 12, Brookhaven; Bryna Soriano, 13, Wilkes-Barre; JD Triolo, 12, West Chester; Allie Vaccaro, 10, Rose Valley; Brynn Washbourne, 8, Coatesville; Violet Wiley, 9, Woodlyn.

The "Vocalist" singers who will bring their talent to the stage each Wednesday night starting July 8 are: Caroline Adams, 17, Media; Grace Atherholt, 19, York; Chesroleeysia Bobb, 16, Feasterville; Rhiannon Charney, 18, Upper Chichester; Victoria D'Acenzo, 14, Upper Chichester; Julia Degruchy, 19, Philadelphia; Thomas Dempsey, 16, Brookhaven; Amelia Dubendorf, 14, Delco.

Also Aidan Everly, 18, Pottstown; Troy Gartner, 17, Paoli; Charlene Gonzalez, 21, Media; Kaelyn Henry, 16, West Chester; Maggie Kennedy, 18, Malvern; Danielle Lachall, 24, Aston; Erin Lynch, 15, Swarthmore; Paul Mariani III, 15, Ardmore; Jacob Mergott, 16, Swarthmore; Camille Mola, 23, Springfield.

And Abby Pancoast, 15, Bryn Mawr; Robert Rinaldo, 24, Paoli; Nicole Riviello, 15, Broomall; Skyler Shields, 16, Downingtown; Hope Smalley, 18, Secane; Emma Smith, 18, Phoenixville; Lauryn Thomas, 19, Upper Darby; Francesca Venezia, 18, Collegeville. 

For more information or tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit

1 comment:

  1. So if you're from a wealthy background and can afford to fill the house with your supporters, you can basically buy your way to success by securing the extra points.

    Oh, and if you're a friend or perhaps a large donor, then Jesse Cline may be able to throw a few extra "individuality" points your way too.

    Guess you'll have to hope that those in the finals will actually have some talent.



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