Meet the Top 20 for the 2019 Suburban Chicago's Got Talent

  • The Top 20 acts take the stage for the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent show Sunday, June 30, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

    The Top 20 acts take the stage for the Suburban Chicago's Got Talent show Sunday, June 30, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

 
 
Updated 6/27/2019 12:00 PM

Suburban Chicago's Got Talent is back for its eighth season, and it's time for the Top 20 contestants to shine.

There are rock bands, singer-songwriters, vocalists and even a comedian/impressionist in the mix. Some are repeat contenders from past seasons of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Vocalist Charles Pansino of St. Charles competed in 2017, while singer-songwriters Shannon Nugent of Elmhurst and Joey Wilbur of St. Charles are back for another round after being finalists in 2018.

Other past contestants are returning with reinforcements, including soprano Agne G. of Downers Grove, who is now part of the vocal duo Agne & Marty. Singer-songwriter Michael McInerney of La Grange was a soloist last year, but now he's in the band The Vaughan Building with Nathan Zaworski and Christian Dvorak.

The Top 20 contestants broke through an initial audition pool of more than 60 contestants, but now they have to impress a panel of judges and a live crowd at a free performance Sunday, June 30, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Those who do will move on to the Top 15 round on Sunday, July 14, at the same venue, while the Top 10 finale -- where the winners are announced -- is at the Little Italy Fest-West in Addison Saturday, July 27.

At stake is a grand prize that includes a development package with website development, a custom video, mentor and photo sessions. The winner also gets to headline a concert and wins an opening slot for a national act at the Arcada Theatre. And then there's the choice of a trip for two to either Nashville to meet with music agencies or Cleveland to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (airfare, hotel and $200 cash are included with either trip).

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As in past seasons, there's an online Fan Favorite component to the competition. Videos of each act following the Top 20 and Top 15 performances will be posted at dailyherald.com/entertainment/talent, where fans can vote for their favorite. The act with the most votes is guaranteed a spot in the next competition round, while the act with the most cumulative online votes wins the to-be-determined Fan Favorite prize.

Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019 is co-sponsored by the Daily Herald, Onesti Entertainment, Amita Health, Zeigler Auto Group and Salon Lorrene.

Here are the 20 contestants and their picks for their own favorite artists:

Agne & Marty of Downers Grove is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Agne & Marty of Downers Grove is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artists
Agne & Marty

Hometown: Downers Grove

Talent: singers

Favorite artists: Australian countertenor David Hansen (for Marty). Russian soprano Aida Garifullina (for Agne).

The Chicago band Ballroom Boxer is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
The Chicago band Ballroom Boxer is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artists
Ballroom Boxer

Hometown: Chicago

Talent: rock band

Favorite artists: The Bronx/Mariachi El Bronx, Butch Walker, Billy Joel, GNR, Weezer, Alkaline Trio and Our Lady Peace.

Vocalist Grace Cornelius of Warrenville is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Grace Cornelius of Warrenville is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Grace Cornelius

Hometown: Warrenville

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Talent: singer

Favorite artist: This changes on a daily basis, but today it's Ingrid Andress.

Vocalist Diana of DeKalb is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Diana of DeKalb is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Diana

Hometown: DeKalb

Talent: singer

Favorite artists: Whitney Houston, Etta James and Prince.

Singer-songwriter Miguel Rockstar Garza of Chicago is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Singer-songwriter Miguel Rockstar Garza of Chicago is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Miguel Rockstar Garza

Hometown: Chicago

Talent: singer-songwriter

Favorite artist: John Mayer for his amazing songs and ability. He made me get off heavy metal music and start singing acoustic.

Comedian/impressionist Bob Jay of Algonquin is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Comedian/impressionist Bob Jay of Algonquin is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Bob Jay

Hometown: Algonquin

Talent: comedian/impressionist

Favorite artists: Rich Little, George Carlin and Richard Pryor

The Majors is a Top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019, Band members are Zach Wesner from South Elgin, clockwise from upper left, Jimmy Hamersly from Elgin, Henry Herrero from Bartlett, Vincenza Binetti from Bartlett and Amy Kuhl from St. Charles.
The Majors is a Top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019, Band members are Zach Wesner from South Elgin, clockwise from upper left, Jimmy Hamersly from Elgin, Henry Herrero from Bartlett, Vincenza Binetti from Bartlett and Amy Kuhl from St. Charles. - Courtesy of the artists
The Majors

Hometown: Bartlett

Talent: band

Favorite artist: Pink

Brian Maras of Elburn is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Brian Maras of Elburn is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Brian Maras

Hometown: Elburn

Talent: singer/guitarist/whistler

Favorite artist: Led Zeppelin

Vocalist Columbus Montgomery of Bartlett is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Columbus Montgomery of Bartlett is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Columbus Montgomery

Hometown: Bartlett

Talent: R&B singer

Favorite artist: Luther Vandross

Vocalist Kelly Murphy of Barrington is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Kelly Murphy of Barrington is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Kelly Murphy

Hometown: Barrington

Talent: singer

Favorite artist: Freddie Mercury

Singer-songwriter McCrae of Sterling is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Singer-songwriter McCrae of Sterling is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
McCrae

Hometown: Sterling

Talent: singer-songwriter/guitarist

Favorite artist: John Mayer

Singer-songwriter Northcutt of Glendale Heights is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Singer-songwriter Northcutt of Glendale Heights is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Northcutt

Hometown: Glendale Heights

Talent: singer-songwriter

Favorite artist: Jake Bugg

Shannon Nugent of Elmhurst is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019.
Shannon Nugent of Elmhurst is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019. - Daily Herald file photo, 2018
Shannon Nugent

Hometown: Elmhurst

Talent: singer-songwriter/pianist

Favorite artist: Fiona Apple -- she's a phenomenal lyricist and so uniquely her. Her songs are so full of raw emotion, and she pushes boundaries with her style. I was lucky to see her live, and I love the way that she gets so into the emotion of the song. It feels very authentic when she performs rather than choreographed or trying to fit a particular image.

Singer-songwriter Isabel Osorio of Naperville is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Singer-songwriter Isabel Osorio of Naperville is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Isabel Osorio

Hometown: St. Charles

Talent: pop singer-songwriter

Favorite artist: Julien Baker

The West Chicago vocal duo Palaya is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
The West Chicago vocal duo Palaya is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artists
Palaya

Hometown: West Chicago

Talent: vocal duo

Favorite artists: Frank Sinatra, Bruno Major and Us the Duo.

Vocalist Charles Pansino of St. Charles is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Charles Pansino of St. Charles is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Charles Pansino

Hometown: St. Charles

Talent: singer-songwriter/guitarist

Favorite artist: Frank Sinatra -- for his power/projection, his flawless phrasing, his swag and style, his depth of lyrics and sentiment and the fact that my family (Italian) used to play him constantly. There are so many reasons this man has inspired me and continues to do so.

The Wheaton rock band The Recall is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019.
The Wheaton rock band The Recall is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent in 2019. - Courtesy of the artists
The Recall

Hometown: Wheaton

Talent: rock band

Favorite artist: Black Sabbath, The Raconteurs (Jack White) and similar hard rock artists.

Vocalist Karen Shook from Woodstock is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Vocalist Karen Shook from Woodstock is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Karen Shook

Hometown: Woodstock

Talent: singer

Favorite artists: Living: Brandi Carlile. Dead: Janis Joplin

Nathan Zaworski of La Grange Park, left, Christian Dvorak of Countryside and Michael McInerney of La Grange make up the band The Vaughan Building, which is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Nathan Zaworski of La Grange Park, left, Christian Dvorak of Countryside and Michael McInerney of La Grange make up the band The Vaughan Building, which is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artists
The Vaughan Building

Hometown: La Grange

Talent: blues rock band

Favorite artist: There are many, but we would all agree on The Rolling Stones.

Singer-songwriter Joey Wilbur of St. Charles is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019.
Singer-songwriter Joey Wilbur of St. Charles is a Top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent for 2019. - Courtesy of the artist
Joey Wilbur

Hometown: St. Charles

Talent: singer-songwriter/guitarist

Favorite artist: Ed Sheeran

• • •

Suburban Chicago's Got Talent 2019

Where: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 962-7000, arcadalive.com or events.dailyherald.com

Top 20 show: 6 p.m. Sunday, June 30

Top 15 show: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14

Top 10 show and finale: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Little Italy Fest-West at Centennial Park, Lake Street at Rohlwing Road, Addison

Admission: Free. Register in advance at events.dailyherald.com to be entered into a drawing that will take place at intermission.

• • •

Meet the judges for the Top 20 show

Scott May: The keyboardist in the legendary band The Ides of March, a movie composer (the original 1992 version of "Meet The Parents") and also the artist liaison/senior product specialist for Hammond Organ Company.

Ronnie Platt: A classic rock singer from Lombard who became lead singer and second keyboardist for the band Kansas in 2014.

Ron Onesti: President and CEO of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, which runs the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles and outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the area.

Barbara Vitello: A Lisagor Award-winning reporter, the Daily Herald's principal theater critic and legal affairs writer.

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