On Saturday, April 27, the Smyrna Opera House will host the finale of its vocal talent competition, "Smyrna's Got Voice-Kids Rock!" The local competition has featured more than a dozen regional singers between the ages of 10 and 17 years old over the course of the three-round contest.
The kids were divided into two age groups with close to 30 youthful hopefuls auditioning. The first round of competition took place on Saturday, Feb. 23, with six kids from each group advancing to round two.
The second round, which took place in March, whittled the 12 down to seven.
Four pre-teens from the first group will now compete in next week's finale: 12-year-old Katie Loftus of Townsend, 10-year-old Alexandra Cseke of Dover and Jaden McGeoch and Sydney Wilson, both 12 years old and from Middletown.
The older teen group features just three adolescents: 14-year-old Lauren Berry of Townsend, 16-year-old Gracie Buskirk of Camden-Wyoming and 16-year-old Smyrna resident Chrystina Haldeman.
Berry started the competition by tackling "Mama's Song" by country sensation Carrie Underwood. For round two, she aimed for the sky with "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" by another country superstar, Martina McBride. For the finals, she's going to stick with Martina McBride and will sing "A Broken Wing."
"I've found the experience to be fun and have enjoyed meeting new people," said Berry, whose favorite moment so far was when she heard she'd been selected for the final round.
She said her fellow competitors "are very talented and anyone can win." But, if she wins, she'll share her victory with those closest to her.
"If I win I will celebrate with friends and family," she said.
Taking a cue from its inspiration, "American Idol," Smyrna's Got Voice audience members will vote for the winner but not before a panel of judges weighs in with constructive criticism and suggestions. The panel includes three local arts enthusiasts: Barbara Bigelow, Scot McClymont and David Thomas. All three have previous experience in music and stage presence.
Tickets are still available for next weekend's finale and start at $13 per person. Family four-packs are also available for $30. The family packs include two adult tickets and two child tickets. All seats are general admission. Discounts are available for children 12 years old and younger and for students with identification. However, all discounts must be confirmed by calling the box office at (302) 653-4236. Discounts are not available for tickets purchased through the Smyrna Opera House website.