SILER CITY, N.C. — Three local students took prizes home from “Sing and Play,” the new talent competition and benefit for JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, that held its debut on February 22 at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City.
Audience members voted Kaitlyn Evans of Chatham Charter School as best performance in the elementary division on the strength of her vocal performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah."
Edith Soto of Chatham Middle School received the most votes among middle schoolers after singing “Hard Times,” a song made popular by Paramore.
And in the hotly contested high school competition, Corrine Collison of Jordan-Matthews High School came out on top thanks to her vocal performance of Andra Day’s “Rise Up."
Sixteen students, in all, competed for prizes with the winner of each division receiving a $50 award. But everyone enjoyed the appreciation of an enthusiastic audience.
“That may have been the best thing about the entire evening,” said Rose Pate, the event director and president of JMArts. “The audience seemed to love the show and all of the musicians, and I was extremely proud of how all of our contestants performed and supported each other. I can’t wait to see what next year’s competition will bring.”
Pate said she also was impressed by Jordan-Matthews artists who helped staff the show. “A lot of people after the show were talking about how great Orlando Balderas was as the show’s emcee, and I agree completely. There were a lot of others who contributed — as ushers or part of our backstage crew — to make this a student-run event. I couldn’t be prouder.”
"Sing and Play" was organized as a benefit for JMArts. All money raised by the competition will be used by JMArts to provide opportunities for student artists, including its inaugural New York Arts Adventure. That trip scheduled over spring break gives upperclass musicians, actors and visual artists an opportunity to explore one of the world’s great cities, experience the very best in the arts, and gain new perspectives and experiences that will influence their lives and work.
Musicians from Chatham County and beyond were eligible to audition for the showcase concert. While all of this year’s performances were vocal, the competition is open to instrumental musicians as well.
Auditions for next year’s “Sing and Play” will be in January, with the showcase concert in late February. Pate said the arts foundation is looking at options now and dates should be announced in the next month or two.
More information about "Sing and Play," including photos from the auditions and showcase concert, is online at facebook.com/JMHSArts. Details about JMArts and other events scheduled for this season are available at jmarts.org.
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