The semi-finals of the solo competition for tonight’s McKinney MashUp were held this afternoon, Saturday, September 10, at the McKinney Performing Arts Center (MPAC). Selected from a pool of seventeen very talented singers were Cameron Coiro, Colton Jacobson, Jackie Wasson, Elizabeth Leonard, Shelby Comey, Casey Lamont, Nicole Dyson, Nick Chabot, Erin Ambrose and Drew Bowsher.
These top ten finalists were chosen by audience vote to move on to perform their selections at the final competition at 8 p.m. at MPAC. They will compete for the $1000 grand prize and the opportunity to open for Season 5 American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks at MPAC on Saturday, September 17.
Also this evening, seven groups will sing their hearts out as they also compete for a $1000 prize given to the best group performance and the opportunity to perform with Mr. Hicks as well.
Winners at the evening performance will be chosen by a panel of three judges, who are Glenn Goodwin, Michael Sarver and Linda Septien.
Goodwin is a an award-winning entertainment veteran who toured with such groups as Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Carole King. He produced music videos, concerts and television specials for the Doobie Brothers, Rod Steward, Madonna, Whitney Houston and Barbra Steisand.
A top 10 American Idol finalist during Season 8, Michael Sarver released an acclaimed self-titled debut album in 2010. The multi-talented singers songwriter is signed to Dream Records and will sing several selections from his soon to be released album at tonight’s performance.
An in demand vocal coach, Linda Septien has students from all over the world. She and her professional staff of Grammy songwriters, professional choreographers, vocal, instrumental and engineering coaches know how to get an artist to the top.
McKinney MashUp is a fundraiser for the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Walk up tickets are still available for tonight’s performance.
About the finalists:
Erin Ambrose hails from Ft. Worth, Texas. Her professional caree includes public relations and event management with County Music Television, the US Olumpic Committee and ESPN X Games. She only began singing very recently.
Drew Bowsher is a student at Boyd High School and lives in McKinney. He is active with his youth group at First Baptist Chruch. He loves music and plays guitar, bass guitar and piano and plans to study music in college.
Nick Chabot is senior at Bishop Lynch High School where he is a member of the Varsity Friars football team and is beginning his fourth year in the choir program. He student directs his high school choir and participates in the Jazz and Men’s Ensembles, winning best solo in the National Heritage Festival in Orlando.
Cameron Coiro is a sophomore at McKinney High School. A singer all his life, Cameron has been accepted in choirs such as All region, TCDA and the OAKE National Choir.
Shelby Comey is only thirteen years old and is from Mason, Texas. She has been singing since the age of five and won the Colgate Country Showdown in Fredericksburg, TX.
Nicole Dyson lives in Plano, Texas and often performs at the Grapevine and Wylie Opries. A senior at Plano Senior High School, she is President of Choir and a member of the elite vocal ensemble “Music Corporation.
Colton Jacobson aspires to be one of the biggest teen icons on the planet so he can inspire young people to always reach for their dreams. In 2010, Colton was invited to audition for Simons Fuller’s Boy Band for the Next Generation Project in Los Angeles, CA.
Casey Lamont has been singing since the age of seven and is an eighth grader at Cockrill Middle School in McKinney, where she sings with the Varsity Choir and performs in Advanced Drama. She performs with McKinney Youth Theater and CMS. Casey also won the 2009 Talent on Parade National Junior Vocalist title.
Elizabeth Leonard sings at local McKinney hotspots on weekends and directs the band at Sunday evening services at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in McKinney. Fulltime mom to five children, her latest endeavors include recoring a Christian CD, training to run a marathon and studying to become a nurse.
Jackie Wasson has been singing her entire life. A featured soloist with her father’s Strata Big Band at area jazz festivals, she made her public solo debut singing “On My Own” from Les Miserable and has had leading roles in various theatrical productions.
Photo: Cameron Coiro, a sophomore at McKinney High School, performs at the McKinney MashUp semi-finals.