Contestants set for “Sing and Play” musical competition on February 21

SILER CITY, N.C. — Showcase contestants have been selected for “Sing and Play '19,” the second-annual musical competition scheduled for February 21 at Jordan-Matthews High School in Siler City.

The showcase concert highlights talented student musicians and raises money for JMArts, the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to provide what student artists need to excel.

Eighteen musical acts selected during auditions will perform in separate elementary, middle and high school competitions.

Elementary contestants are Brianna Balderas of Siler City Elementary, Jack and Jillian Dixon of Silk Hope School, Destiny Lyna Lowery of Chatham Charter, Hanna Mikolajec of Perry Harrison Elementary School, Zoe Murphy of Virginia Cross Elementary and Adrian Willett of Perry Harrison Elementary School.

Middle school contestants are Carolyn England of J.S. Waters School, Ian McMillan of Chatham Middle School, Zuzanna Mikolajec of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School, Cameron Parker of Praise Homeschool, Buck and Maggie Thornton of Chatham Middle School, and Marcella Willett of Margaret B. Pollard Middle School.

The showcase will conclude with six high school performances. Courtney Shackelford, Jennifer Trejo Benitez, Jackie Vasquez and Amari Yarborough compete from Jordan-Matthews High School. Duan Bowen and Faith Tysor represent Chatham Central High School.

“We’re so glad to see even more students in our auditions this year!” said Greg Burriss, who directs the competition and selected contestants with his fellow judge, Joseph Walden. “There’s lots of talent and enthusiasm. It’s a tough job to choose the final contestants, but we’re excited about this opportunity for these young people.”

“Sing and Play” is open to both instrumental and vocal acts, with students competing for a $50 prize in each age division. Winners will be selected by audience vote during the showcase concert on February 21, at 6:30 p.m.

General admission is $5 per person and includes one vote in each age-based competition.

“We are thrilled to continue bringing great family entertainment highlighting talented students from all over our area,” said JMArts president Rose Pate. “‘Sing and Play’ is a fun-filled celebration of music along with a little friendly rivalry, as everyone cheers on and votes for their favorite performers.”

All money raised by the competition will be used by JMArts for educational projects, including its 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.

Not only will travelers attend performances at the Metropolitan Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center and on Broadway, but they will learn from world-class professionals. That includes discussing theater over lunch with The Washington Post chief theater critic Peter Marks; seeing the new Broadway musical “Tootsie” and learning about the show afterward from actor Andy Grotelueschen, who plays the role of Jeff Slater; and exploring street art on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and learning graffiti technique in a hands-on workshop with noted artist JCORP.

More information about “Sing and Play” performers will be available online at facebook.com/JMHSArts. Details about JMArts and other events scheduled for this season are online at jmarts.org.

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Jennifer Trejo Benitez of Jordan-Matthews High School auditions for Sing and Play ’19, a musical competition open to elementary, middle and high school students throughout the area. She was one of 18 student acts selected for the showcase concert on February 21.

Jennifer Trejo Benitez of Jordan-Matthews High School auditions for Sing and Play ’19, a musical competition open to elementary, middle and high school students throughout the area. She was one of 18 student acts selected for the showcase concert on February 21.

Jack and Jillian Dixon of Silk Hope School audition for Sing and Play ’19, a musical competition open to elementary, middle and high school students throughout the area. The duo will perform on February 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sing and Play showcase concert at Jordan-Matthews.

Jack and Jillian Dixon of Silk Hope School audition for Sing and Play ’19, a musical competition open to elementary, middle and high school students throughout the area. The duo will perform on February 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sing and Play showcase concert at Jordan-Matthews.

Joseph Walden, left, and Greg Burriss evaluate auditions for Sing and Play ‘19. Audiences will select the winners in separate elementary, middle and high school competitions during the Sing and Play showcase concert on February 21 at Jordan-Matthews High School.

Joseph Walden, left, and Greg Burriss evaluate auditions for Sing and Play ‘19. Audiences will select the winners in separate elementary, middle and high school competitions during the Sing and Play showcase concert on February 21 at Jordan-Matthews High School.