PICS! WEEK 2 OF MEDIA THEATRE'S 2015 'VOCALIST JR' IMPRESSES WITH PERSONALITY

Week two of the "Vocalist Jr" contest at The Media Theatre raised the bar a bit from the first week. There were less nerves and anxieties which allowed each performer to relax a bit and simply have fun on stage as they brought their all to each performance.

It was also a week in which personal statements were showcased through the songs chosen and sung by the 7-13 year old group. 
Wayne's 10 year old singer/ songwriter Sarah Shoumer impressed
with her original song "One Day"
Sarah Shoumer, 10 of Wayne, certainly brought her own unique personal feelings to the stage with an original song she composed herself. Someone of her age writing and performing a song is, in itself, not seen often. The fact that it was actually a good song only added to the memorable two minutes or so she sat serenely at the keyboard and poured her heart into a microphone.

The song she wrote and performed was titled "One Day". Jesse Cline, the theatre's Artistic Director who is the one constant judge throughout the summer competition, was at his usual spot on stage left. He asked Sarah what the song was about and she said, "It's about loving someone so much that you want to have days away from them to make the love stronger. It's about missing someone and realizing how much you love them."

She told Cline that her reason for composing the piece was when her parents left town for awhile and she realized how much she loved them. The audience was entranced by her beautiful pop song, which seemed radio-ready, her ability to compose and play on the keyboard like a pro, and her flowing vocals. It was certainly one of the highlight's of the last few years of "Vocalist Jr".

What the judges will think is anyone's guess, but the audience certainly fell in love with Sarah Shoumer on the night of Sunday, July 19. The two guest judges adding their scores to Cline's were Iron Workers Bank's Barbara Louks and Broadway actor Nicholas Saverine. The scores are added and accumulated for the first three weeks prior to eliminations being made. The public may also get into the voting process with online voting at www.mediatheatre.org for $2 per vote. The online public votes are also accumulated for first three weeks of the contest.
It's Sean Lock accompanying himself on ukelele during "Over The Rainbow"


There were other personal statements made throughout the evening from the young singers. Sean Lock, 11 of Malvern, took the well known classic "Over the Rainbow", added his own arrangement to another person's whom he referred to as 'the Hawaiian guy', accompanied himself on ukelele and brought the house down. It was the second appearance for a ukelele within two weeks during "Vocalist Jr"'s 2015 competition...whether this becomes a trend or not remains to be seen.

Morgan Bitzberger adds her own touch to "Everything's Coming Up Roses"


Morgan Bitzberger, 13 of Thornton, did a rather unfamiliar arrangement of the big song from the musical Gypsy, "Everything's Coming Up Roses". The show opens The Media Theatre's 2015-16 Broadway Series season in September. Cline asked Morgan what type of mother Mama Rose is in the musical to which she replied, "One who inspires, but not necessarily in the way you would want her to." Cline told her, "You're putting it very kindly."
The song was "I'm Not That Smart" done well by little Josh Atkinson,
who is very busy at Media Theatre


Drexel Hill's 10 year old singer Josh Atkinson had the costume of the night as he closed the show (which was in backwards alphabetical order). He dressed as if he were in the 20th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as he performed "I'm Not That Smart", complete with a cape and his spelling bee contestant number dangling from his neck. The song was a humorous and upbeat way to end the night.

Atkinson, it should be noted, was at The Media Theatre all day as Cline mentioned. He arrived at 11am to perform in Aladdin Jr. After lunch at 3pm he played the role of Young Tommy in The Who's Tommy, and then immediately prepared to do week two of "Vocalist Jr" which starts at 7pm each Sunday night, continuing through August 9.

Now, that's quite a personal statement! In fact, when Cline asked Atkinson why he was there all day, the boy simply smiled and said, "Because I love it."

You can't beat that answer and you can't argue the fact that these talented young singers will have quite a future if they keep reaching for their goals while maintaining their unique personalities.

For tickets call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. Live streaming is available each week, so you are able to watch wherever you might be. 

The 2015 "Vocalist Junior" contestants on Sunday nights 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; Elizabeth Mercier, 12, Brookhaven; Fiona Moser, 12, Havertown; Divya Samant, 13, Malvern; Sarah Shoumer, 10, Wayne; Christina Smith, 12, Brookhaven; JD Triolo, 12, West Chester; Allie Vaccaro, 10, Rose Valley; Brynn Washbourne, 8, Coatesville; Violet Wiley, 9, Woodlyn.

Zachary Divito gets into his song "Something Positive"
Violet Wiley sings from Mamma Mia as she opened Week Two show

Veronica Garrubbo
Skylar Kelly
Shannon Clark
Paige Day
Molly Evanko chats with Artistic Director Jesse Cline after her song
Lars Halldin
Larissa Culbertson
Joseph Colasante
JD Triolo
Jamie Day
Gabrielle Dove
Fiona Moser
Evelyn Doran
Elizabeth Mercier
Elaina Fitzgerald
Divya Samant
Christina Smith
Cecilia Bailey
Cassidy Else
Brynne Washbourne
Bridget Duffy
Ava Kelly
Ava Courtney
Ava Briglia
Allie Vaccaro

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