Nevada County’s Top Talent shows this weekend |

Nevada County’s Top Talent shows this weekend

The second semifinal round of Nevada County’s Top Talent will start at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building, 255 S. Auburn St.

It’s the second year for the fundraising show, created to support music programs in western Nevada County after a series of dry summers prompted Grass Valley officials to ban the sale and private use of fireworks – a major source of income for many local youth groups.

John Coulter, a county resident with a background in events production, organized the show.

Last year, the show raised $38,000 for school music programs, and winners received cash prizes.

Many of the contestants are teenagers bringing their art before the general public for the first time.

This year’s audition, held in September, screened contestants based on age (competitors range from 8 to 91 years old) and residency; to ensure the integrity of this grassroots event, performers must not have earned more than $1,200 in a year for the talent being presented.

During the shows, the Nevada Union Men’s Choir will provide formal escort to VIP sponsors. Guest judges include Alan Gratzer, founder and drummer for the original REO Speedwagon; Nancy Solyan, a 25-year veteran of Bill Graham Productions; and local restaurateur John Kane of Kane’s Restaurant in Grass Valley.

Recipient of the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the audience, will receive a cash prize of $1,000; an additional $1,000 will be presented to the recipient of the Judges’ Choice Award.

Each vote costs $1, and every dollar benefits participating school music programs, organizers said. Visit for online voting and information; it’s also on Facebook.

Winners in the semifinal rounds go on to the grand finale, set for 7 p.m. Saturday Oct. 23.

Coming up

Acts competing in the second semifinal round, at 7 p.m. Saturday:

• Emily Rice, vocalist and dancer

• Chelsey Juarez, vocalist

• Katherine Dorland, vocalist

• Alysha Sleeth, vocalist and songwriter

• Luna Wildy, musical theater

• Aaron Richardson, musician

• Kalyja Rain Simning, vocalist and songwriter

• Paige Foster, vocalist

• Nelia Rose, vocalist

• Zackery Gilberg, yo-yo

• Chelsea Kirksey, vocalist and musician

• Zoe Sapp, vocalist

• Hayley Pritchard, vocalist

• Myra Lynne Traugot, vocalist

• Hannah Wellman, vocalist

• Spencer Awbrey, vocalist, musician and songwriter

• Kehan Wenger and Jared Water, musicians

• Briana McDowell, vocalist and songwriter

• Morgan Victoria Fries, vocalist, musician and songwriter

• Stepping Stone, band

Already hit the stage

The following acts competed at the first semifinal round on Oct. 9:

• Amber Green, rock band

• Laura Dennis, vocalist

• Liesel and Kevin Shuholm, daughter-and-father vocalist and keyboard player

• Corina Mcoin, vocalist and songwriter

• Ellen Cole, vocalist and songwriter

• Kaley and Frankie Thomas, vocalists

• Jennifer Davis, vocalist

• Helen Rogers and Mary “Shoneay” Love, vocalists and dancers

• The Truth, band

• Danielle Mcoin, vocalist and songwriter

• David Lynn, vocalist and songwriter

• Cliff Johnson, vocalist and ukulele player

• Sierra Delugge, vocalist

• George Potter, vocalist and guitarist

• Kathy Souza, vocalist

• Lyra Dominguez, vocalist

• Vicki Fortini, vocalist

Local sponsors

Sponsors of Nevada County’s Top Talent include The Union, Citizens Bank of Northern California, KNCO 830 AM/Star 94 FM, Byers Leafguard, Walkers Office Supply, Foggy Mountain Music, Wildwood Independent and Penn Valley Courier, Center for the Arts, American Legion Post 130, Gold Miners Inn-Holiday Inn Express, Lake Wildwood Manor, Rotary Club of Grass Valley and Pacific Banknote.

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