The Media Theatre’s “Vocalist Junior 2017” Top 15 contestants have been announced, after five weeks of entertaining audiences and judges. Twenty-eight singers ranging in age from 7 to 13 years old performed their favorite pop, Broadway, and country songs with plenty of heart and lots of talent during the four weeks leading to the semi-finals, which were cut to the Top 20 last week and now down to the fifteen the judges felt deserved to make it to the Finals, which are August 13 at 7pm.
The judges for the Semi-Finals were West Chester University Voice Major Kyleigh Bleacher, Professional Actor Austy Hicks (a previous winner of the adult "Vocalist" competition), and Iron Workers Bank representative Brent Whitig (IWB is the sponsor of the competition). The fourth judge was The Media Theatre's Artistic Director Jesse Cline.
The Top 15 “Vocalist Junior 2017” contestants are: Ella Baker, 10, Media; Savi Bell, 10, Conshohocken; Charlie Carroccio, 7, Newtown Square; Katie Cotrotsios, 9, West Chester; Sophia Cotrotsios, 12, West Chester; Zachary Graaf, 12, Havertown; Bridget Henry, 10, Havertown; Skylar Kelly, 13, Phoenixville; Lily Lexer, 8, Malvern; Maya Maloskey, 11, Malvern; Lauren McAlee, 11, West Chester; Alexsa McKeown, 11, Brookhaven; Zoe Nesbitt, 7, Drexel Hill; Amanda Treston, 13, Malvern; and Mary Kate Vink, 13, West Chester.
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.
“During the past month, audiences actually got to see each contestant 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 of them had the opportunity to learn a bit more about what it takes to perform in front of an audience on a professional stage. Now, in sticking to the format of the competition we created, it’s down to those whose scores were strong enough to place them in the Top 15.”
The scores Cline refers to were accumulated for four weeks, including both the Judges’ Scores and the Online and Public Voting Tallies. Guest judges accompany Cline each week in voting, marking their ballots in three categories: Vocal Ability, Stage Presence, and Song Choice. Cline has an extra added category, Individualism, which has to do with each contestant’s uniqueness and sense of self-awareness and growth as a performer. He chats with each contestant in front of the audience after they sing, with a completely unrehearsed and spontaneous question and answer period, building a rapport with all of the vocalists.
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.”
Now that the Top 15 have been chosen, all previous scores are erased and each contestant begins the Final Round (August 13) with a total score of zero once again. So, anything is possible as “Vocalist Junior 2017” moves toward finding a winner.
If you would like to be entertained, be sure to see “Vocalist Junior 2017”, which is on August 13 (Finals) at 7pm. The Media Theatre is the place to be! Call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org
The top five in each contest receive cash prizes. “Vocalist Junior” is sponsored by Iron Workers Bank.