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Area Stars Take the Stage at 'Happy Valley's Got Talent'

by on March 29, 2014 8:05 AM

A total of 12 local talents will compete during the fourth annual "Happy Valley's Got Talent" competition and show on Saturday, March 29.

Two performances (2 p.m. matinee and 7 p.m. finals) held at The State Theatre in State College will prove to be entertaining — the finalists range from an a capella group, to vocal soloists, vocal groups, dancers, and instrumentalists.

Nearly 50 people auditioned March 1 and 2 for the 12 finalist spots. Four acts in three age categories will compete for cash prizes ($250, $150, $75 and $50 in each category) during this benefit show patterned after the nationally televised show "America's Got Talent."

The 12 finalists, their talents and hometowns are:

Future Fame Division (12 to 15 years old)

  • Kenzie McCarter, vocal, Reedsville
  • Briana Sisto, dance, Bellwood
  • Hannah Richardson, vocal, State College
  • Pia St. Pierre, violin, Port Matilda

Rising Stars Division (16 to 20 years old)

  • Kelsie Hendler and Alex Porcelli, vocal, piano, State College
  • Anna Pearl Belinda, piano and vocal, State College
  • None of the Above, a capella group, University Park
  • Leia Wasbotten, piano and vocal, Boalsburg

Prime Time Division (21 and up)

  • Brittany Hipp, vocal, Altoona
  • Kristie Brandstetter and Steve Brandstetter, vocal, guitar, State College
  • Jordan Toronto, vocal, Port Matilda
  • Ashley Moore, vocal, State College

In addition to these talented performers competing for prizes, the show also will feature performances by some of last year's winners, and special guests.

"Happy Valley's Got Talent is such a fun and entertaining event for the community but it's very special to the Tides Program," says Suzanne Thompson, Tides executive director. "It is our signature event to raise money for Tides. Through the Happy Valley's Got Talent show, related auction, raffle and events, we raise significant money to fund our program to help grieving children and their families, all at no cost to them.

"This year, we have the opportunity to double the money raised, through the generous Koch Funeral Home Matching Gift opportunity, which means every dollar raised will be matched this year! We are very grateful for this support opportunity. Often grieving children have taught us they need a break from the seriousness of what has happened in their lives. Not only does Happy Valley's Got Talent showcase local talent, but it provides entertainment for our Tides' families and the community as well."

Both the matinee and evening shows will feature the same performances. The 2 p.m. matinee is geared toward families and will feature the "Kids' Choice Awards" based on applause for each act. The 7 p.m. show will be the official competition for the cash prizes and will be judged by Sue Paterno, Jamie Bestwick (President of the Bestwick Foundation and 11 time gold medalist in BMX riding), Mayor Elizabeth Goreham, Ted Christopher, Mary Barton-Sanders (both Penn State music department faculty) and Sean McDermott (radio personality from B94.5).

Both shows will be produced by local playwright and producer Jerry Sawyer and will be emceed by local veterinarian, Fred Metzger.

A pre-show reception starts at 5:30 at The University Club. Tickets are available through The State Theatre box office (814) 272-0606 and online at www.thestatetheatre.org. All proceeds benefit Tides, a support program for grieving children and families.

In addition to ticket sales, the evening will raise additional funds for Tides through raffle ticket sales at the event and a live auction on a number of items including Dinner for eight with Personal Chef, hot air balloon ride for two, a pizza party, ice hockey package and much more.

Visit www.tidesprogram.org to see the full list of auction items.

The title box sponsor for "Happy Valley's Got Talent" is Metzger Animal Hospital. Hundreds of volunteers and businesses have donated their time, talent and resources to make this event possible. A complete list of sponsors is on the Tides website.

Tides is a peer support program offered at no cost to grieving children, teens and the people who love them in Centre and surrounding counties. Though everyone deals with the loss of a loved one in their own way, Tides was created specifically to support grieving children and teens as they try to understand and cope with their loss, to express their feelings and to find healing in their lives. Tides meets the first and third Thursdays of each month at Houserville Elementary School. Pre-registration is required and is available by calling (814) 692-2233. There is no fee to participate.

IF YOU GO

What: Happy Valley's Got Talent

When: 2 p.m., 7 p.m., Saturday, March 29

Where: The State Theatre, State College

Tickets: Available by calling (814) 272-0606 or www.thestatetheatre.org.

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