Jamestown Talent Show tonight
B.J. Whitehouse, director of the chorus for 21 years described the process to select performers on Monday night. “Not everyone who tries out will be in the show. We may have six great singers in a row but we try to provide balance between ages, gender and performance.” This selection process assures everyone there will be a good balance of entertainment fun for all. The best talent is picked from both auditions and will perform tonight, Aug. 19 at the rec center. Tickets to the event are $5 for seniors and children, $7 for all others. Jessica Wilson, publicity chairman, said the money raised is used to fund several benefit programs such as a scholarship music award, two yearly concert programs and music CD’s for the Jamestown library.
The Community Chorus is a non-profit group that has been performing in Jamestown since they were founded in 1949. They rehearse at the Central Baptist Church but are a non-secular group, Wilson said. The talent show is a great way for the talented residents of Jamestown to get up on stage and share their flair with their fellow neighbors, Wilson said, adding turnout is always good.
“We get lots of singers and dancers, child performers, story tellers. Last year, Sam Hollister, a pianist won the scholarship music award in addition to entering the talent show competition.
The talent show doesn’t have judges per se to rate the contestants. Director Whitehouse prefers to call the judges ‘Directors.’ The directors this year are Judy Stickney, Mark Male and Frank Darrigan, who also is the show’s emcee.
Turnout for the Monday auditions packed in a bevy of talented applicants. The evening started off with Good Friends, 11-women who sang in harmony, a song by the same name. Next came another singing group calling themselves Summer Song. The group practices weekly all year long, they said. Members of the group are Cheryl Rebecchi, Denise Johnson, Joanne Tad- dei, Marsha and A.O. Gutierrez, Bruce Forsman, Tom Pederson, John and Janet Grant and Terry Horsley. The group did a snappy rendition of “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” This is the fifth year the group has been competing in the talent show, they said. Last year they were called the “Connecticut Transfer Station” and the year before that they were known as the “Over Forte.” Most of the members are Jamestown residents. Denise Johnson, however, sneaks over from Newport. “I’ve been doing this for five seasons,” Johnson said, adding “I practice even over the winter.”
Liz Daniels sang a Ray Charles rendition of “Georgia;” Kim Oates tried out with the big Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes mega hit, “Be My Baby,” Cris Medina sang an Elvis croon “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” and Jimmy Winter sang a soulful bible song “Precious Lord.”
This is the fourth year Oates has been entering the competition. “I have a great time and I hope to keep going year after year,” said Oates. Liz Daniels entered the competition because Kim convinced her to, she said. “I’m trying out and being in the show because it’s rewarding. There’s no competition. I just enjoy myself.” Winters missed last year but this will be his third year of participation in the show. Both Daniels and Medina are entering the talent show challenge for the first time.
Other competitors were Camilla deRochambeau who did a playful audience participation song about a Hippopotamus, MacEllen McDonough who sang a song she wrote herself “Give It A Go” while playing her guitar, Sue Pratt who sang “Give Yourself To Love” also on guitar and Ava White, a storyteller, who chanted a mesmerizing tale of “Goldilocks.”
To find out who was selected to perform tonight, go to the Recreation Center at 7:30 p.m. The evening looks like it will be an entertaining one for just about everyone. Don’t miss it.