Bi-state area high school students compete for scholarships & prizes at a free family event at The Fabulous Fox on Saturday, April 8
On February 26, 49 metro area high school acts competed in the semi-final round of the 13th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The acts were divided into four categories (vocal, instrumental, dance and specialty) and adjudicated by nine St. Louis performing arts professionals, each representing the respective categories. The judges narrowed the field to 14 acts (22 students) who will move on to the finals at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 pm.
The final competition is a professionally produced production the Foundation is grateful to provide as a gift to the community that is FREE and open to the public. General Admission tickets are required and are available now at no charge through Metrotix online at metrotix.com and the Fox Box Office. The following finalists include a variety of singers, musicians, dancers, and acrobats:
Rayquan Strickland / Singer, Songwriter / Senior at Centra VPA
Ava Hettenhausen / Singer / Junior at O’Fallon Township High School
Ariana Kroegger / Singer / Senior at Clayton High School
Noah Van Ess / Singer, Pianist / Senior at Lindbergh High School
Cortland English / Singer / Junior at O’Fallon Township High School
Kyla Gerhardt / Singer / Senior at Granite City High School
Anna Layher / Circus Arts / Senior at Nerinx Hall High School
Kyleigh McCourt / Baton Twirler / Junior at Mehlville High School
Saisha Bhutani / Traditional Indian Dancer / Junior at Clayton High School
Avery Payne / Dancer / Sophomore at Orchard Farm High School
Cats Jazz Collective / Jazz Band/ Sophomore, Juniors, and Seniors at Webster Groves High School
Cindy Yan / Pianist / Junior at Ladue Horton Watkins High School
Yrwin Batan / Pianist / Junior at St. Louis Priory High School
Drum Warriors Ensemble / Drummers / Junior at Grand Center Arts Academy; Junior at Collegiate School of Medicine and Bio Science; Sophomore at Clayton High School; Junior at Carnahan High School
“We’ve got a fantastic group of students this year! I’m looking forward to seeing these talented teens on the Fox stage! The students seem to get better and better each year,” exclaimed Mary Strauss, Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation Board President.
In addition to the excitement of performing on the Fox Stage, contestants are eligible to win scholarships, prizes, and performance opportunities. Nearly $50,000 in prizes, cash awards and college scholarships will be distributed among the top competitors. A full list of prizes along with official event information can be found on the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s (FPACF) website.
The Finals production will be directed by St. Louisan Lee Anne Mathews, a veteran Equity actor of international stages, longtime director, COCA educator and current artistic director with Westport Playhouse. Mathews will work with choreographer Yvonne Meyer Hare and music director Steve Neale to prepare performers for the Fox Stage.
Finalist acts will be judged on technical ability, interpretation, stage presence, and originality. Judges for the finals have careers spanning music, dance, and Broadway. A complete list of final round judges is available on the FoxPACF website.
The community response to this event has been significant as the program has grown over the past thirteen years. Annually viewers have watched the Nine PBS featured program on the final competition. FoxPACF is grateful for the continued partnership with Nine PBS, which will film the 2023 Finals in front of a live audience for a special broadcast to air later this spring.
The 2022 co-winners, Aubory Bugg, a homeschooled vocalist and guitarist and “Trifecta,” the circus tumbling troupe, will return this year for special performances. A complete list of winners and finalists from the past eleven years can be found on the FoxPACF website.
All seating is general admission. There is a limit of 10 tickets per transaction. Seating is first-come-first-seated and is not guaranteed. The theater will be over-sold to ensure a full house. Please, arrive early.
Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation fosters, promotes, and encourages young people in the St. Louis region to discover and participate in the joy and wonder of live performances.
In addition to the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation also produces a variety of other performing arts programs including Kids’ Night at the Fabulous Fox, Broadway Master Classes, Educational Encores, and is a producing partner of the St. Louis High School Musical Theatre Awards.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.