You don’t have to go to NYC to find talented young up-and-coming performers. The Media Theatre’s summer contest “Vocalist Junior” allows local young singers to shine on stage each Sunday night at 7pm now through August 13.
The singers are in the age range of 7-13, so the annual competition is very entertaining for audiences, much like the popular national singing contests on television. Produced by Media Music Theatre Co., the weekly showcases provide ample opportunity for the contestants, allowing them a chance to perform for large audiences while honing their skills on Delaware County’s only professional music theater stage.
The contestants have been culled from recent auditions held at the theater’s new School and Dance Studio. Even though a winner is eventually announced at the end of the six week competition, no one is eliminated until after the fourth week.
“Audiences will actually get to see each contestants grow,” said Media Music Theatre Co. Artistic Director Jesse Cline. “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 Individualism, which reflects his connection to the singers each week and his rapport with them following their performances.
Cline said. “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: Song Choice, 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.
Online voting will take place again this year, not affecting any outcome until after Week Four. As with the judges’ scoring, the online voting will also be accumulated for four weeks. After Week 4, 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 10 receive 15 extra points, and those who rank 11-15 online will gain 10 extra points to possibly move them into the semifinals.
“We value our first-time Media Theatre performers as well as those returning,” Cline said. “To have so many aspiring young vocalists from Delaware County and the Philadelphia region interested in our programs here is a big stamp of approval.”
The top five in each contest receive cash prizes. “Vocalist Junior” is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank. For more information or tickets, call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org
The 2017 “Vocalist Junior” contestants are Ella Baker, 10, Media; Savi Bell, 10, Conshohocken; Jada Bochanski, 10, Broomall; Charlie Carroccio, 7, Newtown Square; Katie Cotrotsios, 9, West Chester; Sophia Cotrotsios, 12, West Chester; Annie Curry, 11, Broomall; Grace Curry, 13, Broomall; Zachary Divito, 12, Aston; Emily Dogum, 11, Glen Mills; and Gabrielle Dove, 10, Sharon Hill.
Also joining the contest are Katie Foca, 11, Wallingford; Zachary Graaf, 12, Havertown; Adrian Henry, 7, Havertown; Bridget Henry, 10, Havertown; Skylar Kelly, 13, Phoenixville; Khadijah King, 7, Drexel Hill; Lily Lexer, 8, Malvern; Maya Maloskey, 11, Malvern; Natalie Mancini, 10, Broomall; Noelle Mancini, 7, Broomall; Isabella Martinez, 13, Woolwich, NJ.
The list continues with Lauren Mcalee, 11, West Chester; Alexsa Mckeown, 11, Brookhaven; Fayonna Delisa Morgan, 12, Newark, De; Zoe Nesbitt, 7, Drexel Hill; Amanda Treston, 13, Malvern; Mary Kate Vink, 13, West Chester; Alexis Whiteside, 11, Morton; and Violet Wiley, 11, of Woodlyn.