Waynesboro's Got Talent offers big stage for young performers
An opportunity to watch kids sing, dance and win the hearts of the audience is scheduled to take place at the second annual Waynesboro’s Got Talent from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 23, at the Waynesboro Area Senior High School.
Competitors, who live in the Waynesboro Area School District and are between ages 8 to 18, will be eligible for cash prizes if they emerge victorious in the competition.
“There were three times that we offered auditions. There’s 18 performances for this year,” said Kathyrn Gratton, executive director of the Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro. “This year it’s primarily singing, musical instruments and dance, but we’ve tried to encourage any of the performing arts.”
Preparations for the show began in December, with three rounds of auditions taking place in February. Last year’s event saw 15 performances, with 300 people coming out to watch the 2018 edition.
Gratton said that all children can participate, not only public school students.
“Basically it’s a talent show that incorporates all private, public and home-school children,” said Jon Ingels, member of the board of directors for the Arts Alliance of Greater Waynesboro and secretary of the Music Makers Committee. “It encompasses all the kids from the area and it showcases the talent in the area. We’re trying to give them an outlet that they might not have in other places, and an opportunity to perform on a large stage.”
Gratton said that she wants to support young people and that Waynesboro’s Got Talent was an old event that the Arts Alliance felt would renew that opportunity for local youth performers.
“For us it was important to show the younger artists in the community to show that the community wants to help support them and see them grow and succeed,” Gratton said. “It was called Waynesboro’s Got Talent years ago. ... there was another community group that was in charge of the performance. The woman who was in charge of it (Marilyn Smith), she had passed away, so it went dormant for a number of years.”
Ingels, who performs in bands all across Franklin and Washington counties, thinks this event will be good in boosting the confidence of young performers.
“We’re trying to make it easy for kids to perform, but at the same time there’s pressure to perform in front of an audience,” Ingels said. “I think that this could be the breakthrough that they need where they can perform in front of an audience and not just in front of their parents or friends. So it could spark the thought in them that ‘This is something that I can do.’ They’re also getting exposure to a larger audience.”
There are two categories for performers, solo and group, and winners of each group get a cash prize ($50 for solo performers and $75 for the group performers). There will also be a cash prize for the fan favorite, which will be determined by crowd response.
Ingels believes that there are futures for the performers in their respective creative fields.
“Some of the dance students, they could go on to dance schools, possibly furthering their career in jazz or hip-hop,” Ingels said. “I think we have a lot of talented young people in Waynesboro. I hope people will come out and cheer for their favorite performer. The kids need people to come out and show them their support.”
Top photo: Jaeda Dockman performs during an audition for the 2018 Waynesboro's Got Talent show. (File photo)