“Olathe’s Got Talent” 2017 Scholarship Winners Declared in Sold Out Performance

The Bell Cultural Events Center at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas was packed the night of April 29th as 28 students offered their best in vocal, instrumental and dance performances at “Olathe’s Got Talent.” Seven students competed in the visual arts category. Scholarships and monetary awards for the twelve winners totaled $9,750.00.

Winning the Simmons Bank Show Stopper Award and a Fine Arts scholarship from MidAmerica Nazarene University was the barbershop quartet “Fermata Nowhere” comprised of Andrew Allen, Kyle Kersten, Chase Simmons and Peter Winslow, juniors and seniors from Olathe South High School. Alice Liu, a senior from Olathe North High School, played Chopin on piano to win the Olathe Noon Optimists scholarship. Thomas Barnes, a junior from Olathe Northwest High School, won the scholarship from Renaissance Infrastructure Consulting with his original composition on piano. Northview Elementary fifth grader Ayshah Kern snagged the Walmart-West Olathe scholarship with her dance routine.

Additional winners for vocal performances include: Brittany Taylor, a junior at Olathe South High School, who won the Olathe Health Scholarship; Bethany Wray, a junior from Heritage Christian Academy who won the Johnson County Community College scholarship; and Jessica Chitwood, a freshman at Olathe East High School who won the Enterprise Bank & Trust scholarship. The audience’s “Fan Favorite” award went to Maddy Tyson, 7th grader from California Trail Middle School for her vocal performance.

The remaining competitors were Max Cooper, freshman at Olathe Northwest High School, Summer Darpinian, 7th grader at California Middle School, Riley David, freshman at Olathe Northwest High School, Evelyn Dubey, senior at Olathe East High School, Kendall Ficken, 5th grader at Millbrooke Elementary, Brooklyn Funk, 6th grader at Indian Trail Middle School, Garrison Galley, senior at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Mridhula Ganesh, 8th grader at Mission Trail Middle School, Eli Hoedl, 6th grader at Chisolm Trail Middle School, Alexia King, junior at Olathe South High School, Kavya Nataraj, senior at Olathe North High School, Kruti Nataraj, 8th grader at Indian Trail Middle School, Sophie Schlulte, sophomore at Olathe North High School, and Wyatt Walberg, senior at Olathe East High School.

The Heise-Meyer Visual Arts scholarship went to Allison Campbell, a senior at Olathe South High School, for her mixed media representation of that school. Other student artist entrants included Reese Bailey, Madeline DeVries, Colby Hawks, Grace Reeves and Jarret Way from Olathe Northwest and Andrew Llamas from Olathe South. John Burns, Dr. Dick Stein and Rosemary Burweger judged the visual art pieces which were displayed in the lobby.

Alternates Dwayne Ellis, freshman at Olathe North High School and Shailyn Ross, 8th grader at Santa Fe Trail Middle School, provided additional entertainment while judges Dr. Donna M. Bohn, John Kieffer, Kevin Corbett, Mary Corbett and Jamie Speak Wooten deliberated. Special guest Amanda Stone, a sophomore at Paola High, performed her winning “Paola’s Got Talent” routine at the beginning of the show and another routine at the end.

Marc Wayne, local choreographer, coach, dancer, actor, producer, director and writer, emceed the program. Victor J. Daugherty, singer, songwriter and performing arts teacher on sabbatical from California Trail Middle School directed “Olathe’s Got Talent” for the seventh straight year.

“I would like to thank you and the Olathe Noon Optimist Club for a well-run talent show. While my daughter, Elizabeth, did not get to perform as an alternate due to injury, she really enjoyed her experience with the auditions and mentoring session. Everyone we encountered was welcoming, kind, and encouraging. We also attended the show and found it to be well-produced, professional and entertaining…We appreciate all the time and effort your group put into finding scholarship money and producing this show to provide youth this opportunity in a positive environment.” Amy Booze

“Thank you for providing an opportunity for students in our community to showcase their talents and build experience and confidence through the Olathe’s Got Talent event. I felt the talent was wonderful, the venue was inviting, and the presentations fabulous…. I applaud the efforts that went into planning the event... What an honor these students must have felt to be selected to participate in a city-wide search for talent. I would definitely agree that Olathe has got talent.” An attendee

“Olathe’s Got Talent” was presented by Olathe Lincoln Ford. Enterprise Bank & Trust was Event Sponsor, and Simmons Bank provided the “Show Stopper Award.” Scholarship providers and sponsors who made this event possible include Heise-Meyer, Olathe Health, Olathe Noon Optimist Foundation, Renaissance Infrastructure Consulting, Walmart West, Fry Orthodontic Specialists, Bleakley Development Company, Larry Campbell, Arvest Bank, McCown Gordon Construction, Merit Bank, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Phelps Engineering, Inc., RUF Strategic Solutions, Strickland Construction Company, Panera Bread, Linda and Dr. Ron Wimmer, Chuck Nigro, John Kieffer, A.J. Lang, and Mary Ellen and Frank Oswald.

This event is organized by Olathe Noon Optimist Club in support of arts education in conjunction with the Bell Cultural Arts Event Center at MidAmerica Nazarene University. Contributions from community supporters have made this program a leader in arts funding in Kansas. 2017 marks the 7th year that proceeds from “Olathe’s Got Talent” will provide scholarships and supplemental funds to Theatre Arts in the Olathe Public Schools and MidAmerica Nazarene University. Anyone who is interested in volunteering or becoming a sponsor next year can contact the Olathe Noon Optimist Club.


Captions for attached photos: Bohn,-Quartet,-Taylor.jpg:

Dr. Donna M. Bohn, Chair, Department of Fine and Performing Arts at MidAmerica Nazarene, presented the MNU scholarship award to “Fermata Nowhere” barbershop quartet, left to right, Andrew Allen, Kyle Kersten, Chase Simmons and Peter Winslow. Brittany Taylor, far right, won the Olathe Health scholarship award for her vocal performance.

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