MEDIA THEATRE'S 2015 'VOCALIST JUNIOR' ANNOUNCES TOP 15 SINGERS

The Media Theatre's "Vocalist Junior" started four weeks ago on a pleasant Sunday night in July with 31 young singers putting their hearts into Broadway and pop tunes. From age 7 to age 13, each of them had unique qualities to share on stage in front of an adoring crowd.

Then, the final weekend in July, it dropped to 25 youth performers who rehearsed at 8am on a hot Saturday morning with Ben Kapilow, the accompanist. Each weekend during the competition, Kapilow gets up in plenty of time to head to the theatre on Saturday mornings to work with the elementary to junior high school age performers.

Now, the 2015 "Vocalist Junior" is down to the Top 15 who head into the Final Round of the annual summer singing contest which is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank.

THE 2015 TOP 15
The Top 15 Finalists are: Josh Atkinson, 10, Drexel Hill; Morgan Bitzberger, 13, Thornton; Ava Briglia, 8, Media; Ava Courtney, 10, Garnet Valley; Larissa Culbertson, 13, Wayne; Zachary Divito, 9, Aston; and Cassidy Else, 10, Drexel Hill.

Also Elaina Fitzgerald, 12, Wallingford; Veronica Garrubbo, 12, Berwyn; Sean Lock, 11, Malvern; Fiona Moser, 12, Havertown; Sarah Shoumer, 10, Wayne; JD Triolo, 12, West Chester; Allie Vaccaro, 10, Rose Valley; and Brynn Washbourne, 8, of Coatesville.

Due to the young age of the contestants, and the anxiety of the parents attached to each child, Jesse Cline spoke to the crowd prior to the announcement being made. Cline is the theatre's Artistic Director and the one constant judge throughout the competition. 

"Keep in mind, this is the reality of a contest," he said. "Eventually one person will be the winner. But there are no losers here. We started out doing this years ago as an educational experience for youth, which is what it still remains. Hopefully, those families who do not return to perform in the Finals will look at this as a positive learning experience and not a negative."

He continued, "If you didn't make it, try to discover why or what it is you are able to take away from this in order to perhaps choose the right material or to realize what it is you need to work on. Also understand it doesn't necessarily come down to just what the word 'talent' entails. It's about judges' opinions, which can be affected by many things each week when marking their ballots. Every one on this stage is talented."

Cline is correct. The Semi-Finals had one strong performer after another and it must have been a difficult choice for the judging panel. In the long run, however, decisions had to be made and after the ballots were counted the Top 15 was made public. Keep in mind, during the first three weeks of the contest all voting (judges' and public) was accumulated. During the Semi-Finals and Finals, however, each contestant starts out with zero points and no votes carry over from previous weeks. 

So who the winner will be remains to be seen. The Top 15 will give it their all Sunday night August 9 during "Vocalist Junior" at The Media Theatre. They each get to sing in Act One and then votes are tabulated. Act Two will feature the Top Five and eventually the 2015 "Junior" winner will be announced, receiving a cash prize of $500 and plenty of media attention.

For tickets, call The Media Theatre at 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. One song could make the difference! 

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