St. Albert duo takes third at K-Days Talent Search
Saturday, Jul 26, 2014 06:00 am
• Julia Nicholson – Folsom Prison Blues
• Kira Romans and Sage Jepson – This World Will Remember Us
• Cheenie Morales – And I’m Telling You
• Hailey Benedict – My Sweet Alberta Home
• Andrew Boyd – Reviewing the Situation
• Sharmaine Pagtakhan – The Voice Within
Dark grey puffy clouds kept circling the sky at Thursday’s K-Days. Visitors seated at North Stage patiently waiting for Talent Search to begin stared at the clouds wondering if they were going to open up or blow over.
This crackling anticipation almost became a metaphor for what would happen on stage. Six out of the 12 acts were from St. Albert, possibly the highest number of local entries the talent competition has sponsored.
Statistically speaking, half of the event’s four big prizes – the Colin Forbes Memorial Scholarship, a grand prize of $3,000 and two secondary prizes – should have been scooped up by St. Albert artists.
It was not to be. Nevada Banks of Edmonton singing I Think I May Want to Remember Today garnered both the Colin Forbes Memorial Scholarship and the grand prize win.
Second place winner Stacy Farkas, a young Edmonton girl with a huge belt of a voice, sang You Raise Me Up for a $2,000 prize.
However, Kira Romans, 16, and Sage Jepson, 14, both long-time performers with St. Albert Children’s Theatre, charmed the audience and judges with their musical theatre version of This World Will Remember Us. They picked up bronze, winning $1,000.
Their rousing, danceable tune is the first act finale of Bonnie & Clyde where the doomed lovers are on the run after Clyde busts out of jail killing a deputy.
A triple-threat duo, they sang, acted and hoofed their way with poise, charm and a natural connection to the audience.
The long-time friends were initially so excited they had difficulty collecting their thoughts for an interview.
But after a few moments, Jepson managed to gasp, “It was so surreal what was happening to us. We went to have fun and get experience and we got third. It’s amazing we got this opportunity.”
Romans, a Grade 11 Bellerose High student, added that the two musical theatre buffs pulled their act together in a few days. Using past experiences working on What a Night, Peter Pan and Shrek, they adapted quickly and developed a relaxed onstage chemistry.
When asked what they would do with the money, Romans and Jepson replied in unison, “I don’t know.”
“We didn’t know it would happen, so we didn’t plan anything,” added Jepson.
The four judges, including, Tupelo Honey’s Dan Davidson, were tasked with allocating points based 60 per cent on technique, 30 per cent on showmanship and 10 per cent from an impromptu pre-show session.
First competitor Lauren Boyd sang a sultry but controlled version of the jazzy Maybe This Time. The sweet-voiced Julia Nicholson followed with her bluesy version of Folsom Prison Blues.
Cheenie Morales, a powerhouse voice reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, belted out And I’m Telling You while Hailey Benedict gently swayed the crowd with her patriotic ballad My Sweet Alberta Home.
Chameleon-like actor-singer Andrew Boyd, attired as Fagin from Oliver!, sang the slow-tempo Reviewing the Situation, and Sharmaine Pagtakhan showed the strength of her songwriting and vocal skills in The Voice Within, a tune with a powerful, upbeat message.