by Fraser Scantlebury

The atmosphere was electric on Friday October 25th at the Finale of My Town’s Got Talent, held in the Cafetorium of the Carleton place High School.  It was a tough choice, but the celebrity judges managed to select the Top 5 from among 15 outstanding youth performances, and then it was up to the audience to select the final winner, along with the best Hosts and the Best Logo Design.

“The choices this year were really tough”, according to Head Judge Johann Ramsaran a local drama teacher and Chair of the United Way Lanark County, “as all of the performances were of such high quality.  Choosing the Top Five was extremely difficult!”  Ramsaran worked with fellow judges Catherine Clark, a noted local musical director, actor and musician, acclaimed director of drama & musical theatre, Michael Gareau, from Ottawa and Orpheus Little Theatre, along with Jordan McIntosh, past participant and rising Nashville singer.  After tough discussions, they chose the final five – Clifford Glas from Smiths Falls, Emma and Sophie Hans from Almonte, the trio Murray’s House (Isaac Matthews-Hanna, Wednesday Parnell and Tyler Hawkins), and Madelyn Fyfe from Perth, and Alex Vala from Carleton Place.

While the judges were deliberating on the final five, the MTGT Team were counting the audience votes for Host, and the duo of Melody Patten and Maddy Martin from Carleton Place won the hearts of the audience.  “It was great to have the new categories of Host and Design this year,” noted Artistic Director Christ Bindhardt “as it allowed other youth who were not performers to be involved in the show.”  The winner in the design category for the new MTGT Logo for 2014 was Katey Best from Almonte.  “We are also proud of our House Band, another new feature this year, which featured past performers from previous shows, Tanner Flinn, Sara Milligan, and Liam Mansfield, under the direction of Harriet Lavoie.”

After announcing the Final 5, it was time for the winning hosts Melody and Maddy to host the last part of the evening, which featured performances from the remaining contestants, to try to win the audiences’ votes.  The winner from two years ago, the drumming group IMPACT of Almonte and Carleton Place, gave a spirited performance during the counting of the ballots.  Then, the announcement by Bindhardt that Alex Vala won first place, followed by the Murray’s House Trio in second, with Clifford Glas third.  Rounding out the top five was Madelyn Fyfe in fourth, with Emma and Sophie Hans taking fifth spot.  “It was a great show, and all of the youth put on wonderful performances for the audience,” said Executive Director of the United Way Lanark County Fraser Scantlebury “and it just proves how much talent we have here in the County.  We started with over 40 performers auditioning for the show, and then moved to 15 semi-finalists who did just a superb job – they are all deserve congratulations!  It was also a great night for the United Way, and we want to thank everyone who donated at the door and online – it means so much to our Annual Campaign.”  Some of the top five finalists will be performing at the upcoming “Celebration Concert Honouring 100 Years of Service” presented by Community & Primary Health Care and the Brockville Operatic Society at the Gallipeau Centre in Smiths Falls on November 7th, and again at the Lanark County Warden’s Banquet on November 15th in the Township of Montague.

“We are already planning next year’s event” says Bindhardt “and we hope to see more great talent from our County out for the 2014 show – stay tuned for further details!”

Winning Hosts Melody Patten & Maddy Martin with Katey Best Design Winner
Winning Hosts Melody Patten & Maddy Martin with Katey Best Design Winner
Alex Vala - Winner
Alex Vala – Winner
Murray's House - 2nd place
Murray’s House – 2nd place
 Clifford Glas - 3rd place
Clifford Glas – 3rd place
Madelyn Fyfe - 4th place
Madelyn Fyfe – 4th place
Emma & Sophie Hans - 5th place
Emma & Sophie Hans – 5th place

Photos © Geoff Baskwill