Sophia Peterson of Elgin, Junior Division, and Erin Newman of St. Charles, Senior Division, have been named the first-place winners of the 31st annual Kane County Fair Talent Contest. The talent contest was held on Monday, July 14, as a "Pre-Fair Showcase" at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles.
Peterson sang an opera solo of "Ave Maria" and Erin Newman sang a vocal solo of "Maybe This Time." They both received a $200 first place prize. As first-place winners of the Kane County Fair Talent Contest, Peterson and Newman will compete in their division and automatically represent Kane County in January 2015 at the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Official Talent Contest State Competition in Springfield.
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Second- and third-place winners of the Kane County Fair 2014 Talent Contest were:
• Junior Division -- second place: Olivia Kelley of Geneva performed a vocal and piano solo of "Don't Know Why"; and third place -- Grace Lenaghan of St. Charles performed a vocal solo of "Think of Me."
• Senior Division -- second place -- Lucy Avila and Amanda Maher of Batavia performed a piano duet of C.S. Theme & Variations; and third place -- Sean Seales of St. Charles performed a vocal and guitar of his Beatles' "Imagine" medley.
All Junior and Senior Division winners will perform at the Kane County Fair at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 19, at the Miller Lite SoundStage.
Contestants were judged by technique, stage presentation, audience appeal, and appearance. Cash prizes awarded in each division: first place $200; second place $125; and third place $75.00. All other finalists received $20 per act.
Finals judges for the Kane County Fair Talent Contest this year were: Jamie Barbeau, a teacher at Reed Custer Primary School judged vocal-all around; Michele Miller, artistic director and owner of M&M Dance, and vocalist, dancer and choreographer of the Blooze Brothers Band, judged vocal all around; and Terry Vant, judged instrumental all around. All three judges have been previous competitors in the Kane County Fair Talent Contest.
More than 100 people filled the Prairie Events Center to enjoy the talent competition. In between the two division competitions, Daniel Souvigny of Hampshire performed a variety of ragtime songs on the piano. He was last year's Kane County Fair Talent Contest first place Junior Division winner and this year's first place Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs Official Talent Contest State Competition in Springfield. Souvigny will perform at the Illinois State Fair in August.
"We are so proud of the Kane County Fair Talent Contest," said Larry Rossi, RPM Creative Music, coordinator of the talent contest. "This year was such an impressive range of quality talent. We strive to grow this competition and continue to provide young people with a friendly competition to encourage and showcase their talent and gifts."
The contest is open to any person or group (school/organization) residing in Kane County. For more information and how to enter future contests, call (847) 622-9935 or email KaneCoTalent@aol.com.