'Central's Got Talent' A Big Success

The talent was amazing in Central Methodist University’s first annual “Central’s Got Talent” competition that took place February 9 on the Fayette campus. High school seniors vied for headline status and scholarships in the areas of theatre, vocal, instrumental, and praise band.

The top two winners of the competition are senior Madalyn Bartholomew, a music student from Salisbury High School who played the trombone, and Ezechiel Daos, a tenor from Waynesville High School. Each won a full-tuition scholarship to CMU for the next four years, for a total of  $94,600, based on their continued academic performance.

“’Central’s Got Talent’ is an opportunity to award fine and performing arts students for the hard work they do,” said DaSean Stokes, representative of the CMU Admission Office, and the mind behind the competition’s concept.

“At Central Methodist University we have a wonderful music program,” he pointed out, “and to be able to bring in students to this program is an opportunity that we do not take lightly.”

“As an alumnus, I believe that I am the musician I am today because of the experienced teachers we have here at CMU,” Stokes continued. “My favorite moment of this competition was seeing the two big smiles on the faces of the recipients of the four-year $94,600 scholarships. ‘Central’s Got Talent’ has given students the opportunity to showcase the best in their discipline. I cannot wait for next year’s competition.”

Both winners were proud to announce that their high school music teachers graduated from CMU. Jenna Maule, CMU class of 2009, teaches music for the Salisbury School District; Cyndee (Cavole) Gilmore, CMU class of 2001, teaches at Waynesville School District; and Nathan Schaefferkoetter, CMU class of 2000, also did teach in Waynesville before recently leaving the district.

The all-day event included preliminary trials in the morning, including an essay, sight reading, and individual performances. Twenty-three students competed from areas across Missouri. Each participant won a fine arts scholarship from Central for next fall.

The finalists were announced in the afternoon, and those students performed for the final round of competition. The finalists included the top two competitors from the four disciplines. The judges of the various stages of competition were all faculty from Central’s music and theatre departments.

Finishing in the top positions, other than the two top winners were Kylie Vangundy (Wentzville) and Cara Scheperle (Jamestown) in voice, Halee Holcomb (Salisbury) and Zachary Martin (Sullivan) in instrumental, Chely Stratton (Raymore), Alicia King (Salisbury), and Mitchell Crofton (Springfield, Ill.) in praise band, and Julia Wolz (Lake Saint Louis), and Chansey Rhoads (Lebanon) in theatre.

In addition to the competing, students also attended a college class in Music Theory III or Acting II and a recital from current CMU students who are already in the fine arts program.

Other students who participated and received scholarships from Central were Isaac Bartholomew (Fayette), Brittany Dush (Farmington), Addylyn Gabriel (Agency), Anna Guerkink (Perryville), Rachel Guilford (Centralia), Crichton Hill (Oak Grove), Destini Jefferson (Carrollton), Joni Lehman (Jefferson City), Lucas Nentrup (Lockwood), Quinton Ryerson (Versailles), Pamela Salas (Hallsville), and Connor Sanchegraw (Columbia).

Plans are already underway to repeat “Central’s Got Talent” next school year.

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