Two Bear River singers take top honors at Youth Vocal Competition |

Two Bear River singers take top honors at Youth Vocal Competition

Talen Andersen of Bear River High School took first place in the Youth Vocal Competition Oct. 11.
Submitted by Carolyn Valle |

Two Bear River High School students took first and second place in the fifth annual Youth Vocal Competition held earlier this month in honor of Laura June Breen.

Winners Talen Andersen and Hailey Patrick were two of nine participants, ages 12-21, who put aside their fears as they stepped on stage Oct. 11 to sing before a live audience at the event presented by InConcert Sierra and the Sierra Master Chorale.

“I was truly impressed with the level of talent, range of styles and bravery of these young singers,” said Mary Anne Davis, who organized the event and also sings in the Sierra Master Chorale. “The overall experience was a good one for the students as well as the audience.”

A panel of three judges awarded 18-year-old Andersen first place for his performance singing “This Is The Moment,” (from Jekyll & Hyde), with words and music by Leslie Bricusse and Frank Wildhorn, and “I’ve Got The World On A String,” with words and music by Ted Koehler and Harold Arlen.

“I’m over the moon about finally winning (this) amazing competition. Ever since my first try in 2013, I’ve considered this competition something to look forward to,” Andersen said. “Thank you to InConcert Sierra for offering youth an outlet to perform. Whether it’s getting used to the mic or another day in the office, musicians thrive on performance. That is where most learning is done.”

Andersen received a $500 cash award for first place. He said the money will go toward college, with a little bit set aside for an upcoming family road trip.

Patrick, 17, took second in the competition and received $250.

The Youth Vocal Competition was designed to offer the emerging talent of Nevada County an opportunity to experience what it’s like to perform live, on stage, in front of an audience and take away materials to assist them in future endeavors.

All nine contestants receive a video, posted to YouTube, of their performance, along with photos, that they can use to assist them in entering additional competitions, scholarships and more.

They also get a summary of feedback from the panel of three vocal and music experts, Ryan Murray, Janet Rossman and Daniel Zuckerman.

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