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2016 Youth Finalists

Youth 2016


Laurel Blankenship

Sponsors

3 Star
Roxy Music
Kabelin ACE Hardware
Lubeznik Art Center Team

2 Star

Family & Friends of Laurel Blankenship
La Porte Little Theater

Brielle Cowger

Peter Fulton

Sponsors

3 Star
LaPorte Insurance Agency/Indiana Farmers Mutual
NIES Engineering

2 Star

Cowger Family/Thrivent Financial

Laurel Blankenship is a senior at New Prairie High School. She has been singing for as long as she can remember, and is a soloist at Sacred Heart Church. In addition, she is in her school’s top two competitive show choirs, Sing Sensation and Innovation. She is also a varsity cheerleader. Laurel has performed in many musicals, in and around LaPorte, including Into The Woods (Lucinda), Little Shop of Horrors (Crystal), Grease (Marty), and 13 (Lucy). In her free time she enjoys playing her ukulele, singing, reading, sleeping, and hanging out with her friends. Laurel would like to thank her mom for always supporting her, and all of her past and present music teachers for encouraging her to pursue music.

“Music is kind of like ice cream, it’s sweet, comes in all sorts of flavors, and leaves you begging for more, ” according to Brielle Cowger. Brielle began dishing out her talent at age four, when she discovered her love for theater and music. This love has found her in musicals such as: The Sound of Music, Narnia, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, and Legally Blonde Jr. This past year, Brielle joined Musicality Arts, where she sings as both a soloist and group member. Brielle is both humbled and ecstatic about being selected as a Hoosier STAR finalist this year, and would like to thank God first and foremost. She would also like to thank her family, friends, and vocal coach for their time, love, and encouragement. Brielle would like to dedicate her performance to her grandfather (Pappy), and hopes he can hear her voice all the way to Heaven.

Peter Fulton is a high school sophomore at Colonial Hills. His first solo was at age 7, at King of Glory Church, and at age 11 he had the privilege of singing “The Little Drummer Boy” at College Park Church’s Christmas program. Since then, he placed first in a junior-high vocal competition with a perfect score of 100! In the Hamilton County 4-H Talent show, he was the Junior Division Grand Champion and the Senior Division Reserve Grand Champion, a year later. He was also a finalist at the Indiana State Fair Vocal Throw-down.

Peter has also participated in theatre workshops and plays. His most memorable roles were Daddy Warbucks in Annie Jr. and the Dodo Bird in Alice in Wonderland Jr. In his free time, Peter enjoys playing the clarinet and piano, sketching, making crafts, and playing rhythmically based video games. Peter would like to thank his family, friends, choir directors, and vocal coaches for their help and encouragement.

Peter and Brielle formed a duet in January as part of the Musicality Arts group. It is an honor for their duet to be a part of the Hoosier STAR 2016 vocal competition.


Eliana Knakiewicz

Sponsors

3 Star
Gene and Deb Jonas
Swanson Center

2 Star

1 Star

Tommy Sunn, 1st Choice Realty


Maddi Reese Ames

Sponsors

3 Star
Whitten & Whitten Attorney’s At Law
Serranos Mexican Grill of Valparaiso

2 Star

1 Star

Carpetland USA

Elaina is an eighth grade home-schooled student. She loves finding a cozy spot with a good book, participating in historical reenactments, hanging out with her sisters, and playing with her red Aussiedoodle. Of course the one thing she is always doing is singing. She sings in the shower, while doing school work, and has even been caught singing in her sleep. At the age of five, Eliana began singing at her church, where she still has a permeant spot the second Sunday of each month. Her love of music has stirred her to begin learning to play the guitar and she has ambitions of also learning the violin.

Eliana loves country music, and in April of this year won the Tippecanoe 4-H Talent Show singing Coal Miners Daughter. Last year she won the Morocco Indiana Talent Show, and was also one of five finalists for the County Showdown in Illinois.

Eliana has sung the National Anthem for the Normal Illinois Cornbelters and the Gary Indiana Railcats. In addition, she was honored to sing for the Morocco Memorial Day Veteran’s Service last year. Eliana has a special place in her heart for Veterans and has a dream of one day singing the National Anthem in all fifty states. She would like to thank Hoosier Star for giving her the opportunity to grow and for giving her a chance to shine!

Maddi has been singing since before she could talk. She sings from the time she wakes up until she goes to bed and her love for music grows every day. She is a student at Westville Elementary School, and is one of the highest academic achievers in her class.

At the age of four, Maddi began acting. She has played the roles of Molly in Chicago Street Theatre’s production of Annie, and Gretel Von Trapp in CTG’s production of The Sound of Music. In 2014 Maddi received her first lead role at the Memorial Opera House, where she played Annie. It was one of the greatest experiences she has had in theatre. Since 2014, Maddi has also been in The Addams Family: The Musical, and The Wizard of Oz.

Maddi has been asked to sing for various fundraisers, and has also started singing the National Anthem at sporting events. Most recently she sang for Purdue North Central’s basketball season and also for the Gary Railcats. Maddi will be performing in Macbeth at IUN this summer, where she will be playing all of the children’s roles. She is extremely excited to be at a new venue this summer!

Maddi would like to thank all of her family and friends for their support, as well as her three siblings, Katelyn, Mason, and Erin, for always pushing her to do great things. Maddi is beyond excited for Hoosier Star and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her.


Shania Povlock

Geovanny Tapia

Sponsors

3 Star
Kingsford Heights Lighthouse Assembly of God
Family & Friends of Geo
Family & Friends of Shania

2 Star

La Porte Little Theater
Purdue Federal Credit Union
1 Star
Region Dental
V. Michael & Cherri Drayton

Shania Povlock & Geovanny Tapia have been friends since the 6th grade, where they were in choir and show choir together. Currently, they are in mixed choral at LaPorte High School and have performed together in La Porte Little Theatre productions.

Shania is the 2013 Hoosier STAR youth runner-up and Rising Star award winner. She has sung the national anthem at the University of Notre Dame and for the South Bend Cubs, just to name a few. She is also on the praise and worship team at her church. Shania enjoys volunteering in the community at IU Health Hospital, Arts in the Park and anywhere else that help is needed. She enjoys being a youth leader at La Porte Little Theatre summer camp for children. Hoosier STAR holds a special place in her heart, and she feels very blessed to have this opportunity to perform again. Hoosier STAR is much more than a singing competition to her. It is making memories and friendships that will last a life time, while supporting the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra.

Geovanny has performed in several La Porte Little Theatre productions as well at La Porte High School. He has also performed at the Dunes Summer Theatre in Jesus Christ Superstar. Singing has been a part of his life, for as long as he can remember. In addition to singing, Geovanny loves to dance and write. He is elated to perform, for his first time, with a live orchestra alongside his friend Shania. This already has been such a great experience, and he is enjoying every minute of it!

Shania and Geovanny would like to thank their families, sponsors and everyone who has supported them. They are both thrilled and honored to be able to perform with the amazing La Porte County Symphony Orchestra together!


Alternates


Hannah Geiser

Hannah Geiser

1st Alternate

Sponsors

3 Star

2 Star


Zachary Geleott

Zachary Geleott

2nd Alternate

Sponsors

3 Star

2 Star

Hannah Geiser is currently 13 years old. She live in Valparaiso, Indiana and goes to Chesterton Middle School. She has 3 sisters and 2 awesome dogs!
She has been singing since she was 4 years old. She has been in every school talent show since 1st grade and loves seeing the audience’s reaction when they hear her because the ones that many don’t know she ius a singer. She has been in school choir since 5th grade and has been in the Texaco Country Showdown 2014, auditioned for America’s Got Talent 2015, and a finalist in the Duneland Exchange Club Talent Show 2016. She participated in an optional ISSMA Solo competition in January 2016 and received a Gold Medal. She also takes private vocal lessons to further her vocal skills.
She loves country music and singing songs from musicals. Hannah has been to Nashville a handful of times and in the fall of 2015 I got to sing and make a single recording at the Ryman Auditorium! The same visit to Nashville while out for lunch at Tootsie’s World famous Orchid Lounge she was asked to sing with the band. Hannah sang two songs with them! It was the highlight of her life!

Zachary Geleott is a fifth grader at Saint Augustine Elementary School in Rensselaer, IN. He has always had an interest in music and has taken two and a half years of piano lessons. Zachary was an active participant in his elementary school’s Christmas and Spring concerts/shows along the way including the lead male role in this past Christmas’s play, Meet Me At The Manger. This past summer he participated in his first year with the Fendig Summer Theatre for Children. This was the 40th summer production for “Fendig” and they presented Mary Poppins. He played the lead male role of Bert, the chimney sweep, made famous by Dick VanDyke. He loves to play sports, read, learn his favorite subject – Math, hang out with family and friends, laugh, sing and act!