The 15th STAR competition got underway Saturday at the Patricia Lindley Center with residents of all ages showing off their various talents.
Fifteen competitors faced off with 10 semifinal spots available for this coming weekend and five for the finals on Nov. 10. The winner will take home a grand prize of $500.
“It’s great to see people who competed as students come back in their 20s and even older,” said teacher Dave Conklin, who’s directed the competition since it was held at the old McCormick Middle School. “I encourage anyone who has a desire to come out and give it a try.”
Judges Tina Drake, Nathan Baxendale, and Emily Campofredano critiqued acts including musical numbers by Wellington High School students Rebecca Arcuri, Kensington Boose, and Jacob Fleming as well as Ezra Ohly’s roller-skating set to music from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
Arcuri’s acoustic rendition of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” drew especially high praise as did resident Roger Carpenter performing Barry McGuire’s “Eve of Destruction.”
“That was just fantastic,” Drake said immediately following Arcuri’s performance. “You have such a lovely voice and you chose a song that was perfect for you. We were waiting for you to use the stage and you got right up and did a great job with that too.”
Conklin said he’d like to see more groups take part in the competition, which is hosted annually by the WHS drama club.
“A thing that’s been missing is bands,” he said. “For the last couple of years there’s been no bands, period. I love the acts that are here, but I always love seeing good competition between bands. A few years back, we had a high school group called Nice Shoes who were against a 40-something band called Freeland Drive. Both were just great and the competition was intense. We were standing room only at McCormick and that was a big space.”
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Semifinalists take the stage at 7 p.m.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.