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17th Annual McCallum Open Call featured some of the Coachella Valley’s brightest artists

17th Annual McCallum Open Call featured some of the Coachella Valley’s brightest artists

17th Annual McCallum Open Call featured some of the Coachella Valley’s brightest artists

by Michelle Roe

Desert cultural arts enthusiasts gathered at the McCallum Theatre on Saturday, April 18th to celebrate the finale of the popular Open Call 2015 talent competition.  In its 17th year, the show featured some of the Coachella Valley’s brightest artists on stage, then brought the entire cast together in an original musical production ,“Now Is The Time”.

Open Call is produced by the McCallum Theatre Institute, the education division of the McCallum Theatre for the Performing Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the role of arts our community.   The Open Call competition is a major fundraiser for McCallum Theatre Institute outreach and education programs. It is also platform for local residents to have a chance at an opportunity to work with theatre professionals and perform before a live audience.   The competition welcomes auditions and a panel selects finalists to go on to perform in four live shows.  Audience participation is encouraged in the first three shows as they vote for their favorite act.  The finale announces the winners.  2015 judges included entertainment industry pros:

Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald

Allan McMurray

Jamie Nichols

Marty Pasetta

Finalists included vocalists, musicians, dancers, and unique performances that impressed the crowd with their level of aptitude and showmanship.  The variety show was not presented as a typical amateur talent program.  Under the direction of Producer/Artistic Director Kajsa Thuresson-Frary, Choreographer/Director Jennifer Backhaus, and Musical Director Paul Cracchiolo, the production was of the highest quality with many audience members whispering about its “top level of quality” and “Broadway worthy style.”

All finalists were given stipends for their achievements with additional cash prizes and awards given in the following categories:

  • Best Dance Performance: Xavier Dance Team, “Spirit Swag”
  • Best Vocals: Nicholas Sloan & Jamie Leigh Walker “All I Ask of You”
  • Best Specialty Act: Kimberly Law, Baton “Twirling Craze”
  • Best Instrumental: The DeKock Trio ( Amy, Danielle & Margie DeKock), “A Celtic Medley” featuring bagpipes, drums and traditional dance
  • Audience Favorite: Lilly Melcheva, violinist “La Campanella” by Niccolo Paginini
  • Second Place: Lilly Melcheva, violinist “La Campanella” by Niccolo Paginini
  • The Helen Turner Grand Prize Award: Brianna Finnel, vocalist, opera “O Luce Di Quest’anima

 

Brianna Finnell, Open Call 2015 Grand Prize Winner

Brianna Finnell, Open Call 2015 Grand Prize Winner

 

 

 

 

 

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