Life is a song

They danced, they sang, and they took home wonderful memories to last them a lifetime. The participants in the Teen Idol competition were thrilled to exhibit their remarkable qualities in front of a live audience at their grand finale, on September 15, at Xaverian High School.

The fun started at 7 p.m., with 15 participants — ages 13 through 18 — all chosen by the Bay Ridge Community Council’s (BRCC) Committee for Arts and Culture. Each and every one of them poured their hearts out in song.

“They all had a shot at winning,” exclaimed Karen Tadross, second vice president of the BRCC and co-chair of the Committee for Arts and Culture,. “They are full of great talent.”

“Each gave the best performance they could have given, making it tough for the judges to choose,” she added.

Tadross added that the competition is not focused mainly on winning, but on the teens’ chance to be mentored throughout the summer by people who have dedicated their lives to music.

Dawn Barry Hansen, for instance, from Narrows Community Theater, guided the participants throughout the summer, teaching them to perfect their stage presence. She said she helped them attain “their own vocal quality,” polishing what was going to be their final musical piece.

“It was a wonderful event; the kids were great,” Hansen said. “It was a pleasure to work with them.”

The group had an opening number, in which they performed “Edge of Glory” by Lady GaGa; the competition went on afterward. At the end, Taylor Leigh Cannon voted the winner by the judges and took home a $500 cash prize. Cannon, 16, attends La Guardia High school, and sang “Etta James At Last.”

Cannon had participated previously and “came back this year, stronger than ever,” noted Tadross. “Seeing her perform was such a thrill,” she added.

Cannon said she was “Absolutely honored,” adding that “amazing people performed tonight.” She has been singing since the age of 10 and stressed, “Singing is all I want to do, any kind of performing.”

Fan favorite Nicolette Shin, the second winner, attends Fontbonne Hall Academy. She wants to major in musical theater in college, and has been a gymnast since the age of four. The song that won her the title and a $100 cash prize was “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.

“It was a good experience,” she said, “difficult, because I’ve been in musicals but this was more personal. If you can impress an audience, I think you’ve done your job.”

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