2017 Ashburn's Got Talent Winner: Taylor Hart
Songwriters Award: Taylor Hart
Runner Up: Skyler Guttierez
2017 Ashburn's Got Talent!
AGT is a music competition for people ages 13 and over and will feature musical and vocal acts of up to two performers. Proceeds raised will go to Friends of Loudoun Mental Health and Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers.
Auditions will be held August 19, 26 and September 9, 2017. Semi-finals will be on September 16 and Finals on September 23.
Judges are locally acclaimed music instructors and singersongwriters.
Winner will be awarded cash prize of $500!
Songwriters Award is songwriting and mentoring sessions with Half King!
Entry fee is $35 per act and net proceeds go directly to the charities. We have a max of 20 acts per audition round, so 60 audition slots total are available.
Finals: Saturday September 23rd 6p
(Click & scroll over pictures for bios!)
Pictures from Semi-Finals September 16, 2017
Faiza Alam is a Co-founder and guitar instructor for Create More Music Studios. She has a Bachelor's of Music Degree with a Concentration in Guitar Performance and a Master’s of Business Administration from George Mason. Faiza has been teaching guitar, group music lessons, and band coaching for over 9 years. She has worked with students of all ages and specializes in young child development. Faiza enjoys teaching and performing classical music, folk, rock and pop. Faiza began playing guitar at the age of eleven. She studied classical guitar under Hart Wells and Larry Snitzler, student of Andres Segovia. She has learned from world renowned guitarists such as Roland Dyens, Eleftheria Kotzia and Piotr Zeilinski. Upon receiving her B.M., she taught for numerous teaching schools and performed throughout the NOVA area. In 2015 she launched Create More Music Studios, an in-home teaching studio that offers instrumental and vocal lessons in the area. Faiza is passionate about music education and supporting local artists. Not only does she enjoy helping students excel in their musical crafts but she also enjoys helping local musicians in developing their careers as artists and teachers.
Ron Goad is a retired teacher, and enjoys producing music shows and helping musicians to improve professionally. Ron has served as a board member of several arts-related nonprofit organizations, including VP of The Songwriters’ Association of Washington (SAW), The Folk Club of Reston-Herndon, Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise and Friend of Focus. Some of his current music projects are Harried Americans Roadshow (emcee, drummer and vocalist), Percussionist for singer/songwriter Chris Anderson and Epicure Café Music Showcases: stage time and spotlight for serious musicians.
Tracy Hamlin is a renowned vocalist, songwriter, vocal coach and record label owner. Tracy has performed with music legends such as Carlos Santana, Marcus Miller, Jonathan Butler, and Chaka Khan and toured internationally as lead background vocalist for Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor. The Baltimore native began her singing career at age 11 and studied music at the Baltimore School of the Arts and the prestigious Peabody Preparatory School of Music. The songstress fuses the boundaries between Soul, Jazz, R&B and House music and has experienced international success, holding the #1 position on the UK Soul Charts for two weeks with her CD This is My Life in 2013. And her recent CD release, No Limits held the #1 position on the UK Soul Charts for five weeks in 2015! Tracy's new single, Just Talk To Me, was released this week to rave reviews in Europe! Tracy continues to amass international fame as an artist while mentoring a new generation of vocalists locally, and was recently elected to serve as Vice President of the Washington DC Grammy Chapter.
Leslie Hollander is a classically trained professional actress who has performed on and off Broadway, regionally, and for years at the Kennedy Center. She has been a talent scout and has trained talent for local casting agencies and is a private coach.
Kiran Kairab is a local singer/songwriter who made her debut with the self-penned EP, Night Flower, in 2016. She performed regularly in the Northern Virginia/DC circuit from 2002 - 2006 before switching focus to independent song-writing and music production, which has been her primary focus for the past few years. She is regularly high-lighted on ReverbNation as a featured artist to watch and is currently partnering with other musicians from the Leesburg based Half-King Songwriters group to publish new and dynamic tunes, many of which can be found on iTunes. She partnered on two of her most recent songs which can be found on YouTube, "Building Bridges" and "Resistance" with another "Ashburn's Got Talent" Judge - local musician and producer, Todd Wright.
John Kocur is a professional jazz saxophonist, composer, and educator. He has released two full length albums which have been reviewed by AllAboutJazz, the Washington City Paper, and the Washington Post. His jazz quartet has performed at the DC area's most prestigious venues including The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Strathmore, Blues Alley, Bohemian Caverns, the Hamilton, and the Atlas Performing Arts Center. He has performed internationally in Japan and Switzerland. he was selected as an Artist-in-Residence at Strathmore in 2008 and was a resident at the Kennedy Center's Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program in 2010. As a sideman he has performed onstage alongside international touring acts like Jamie Cullum and Joe Piscopo and has been a frequent member of local groups such as the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Swing Machine, the Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, the Too Damn Big Orchestra, and the Capital Focus Jazz Ensemble. John is a full-time faculty member at Northern Virginia Community College and a proud member of the DC Federation of Musicians Local 161-710.
Alex Minton has worked with many musicians with a wide range of ages in many different bands in the Northern Virginia, DC and surrounding east coast area. He has worked with his former local bands Traktion, Less Than We Know, Generations, JellyBeans, The Next Big Thing, and more at venues such as Jammin' Java, Leesburg's First Friday, 9:30 Club, DC9, Loudoun Youth Fest, and the former Jaxx Nightclub. His love for music and writing along with the inspiration from his family's music school lead him to the many instruments he plays daily including but not limited to: Guitar, Bass, Percussion, Vocals, Piano, Low Brass and Tumpet. Alex is currently working on his solo project set for release in February 2017, while Managing and Teaching at Minton's Academy of Music.
Bobbe Shore majored in vocal performance/education at The College of New Jersey and has studied privately with respected NY vocal coach Robert Edwin. Early career credits began in musical theatre including ("Carousel"/Julie Jordan), "Gigi"/Gigi, "Promises Promises"/Fran Kubelik, and a touring troupe of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"/Columbia. Bobbe penned her first song as a teenager and has continued composing throughout her musical career, writing both lyrics and music. As a result, she has performed her original music as an invited guest of the New Jersey State Special Olympics and the Department of HHS, Office of Disability. She has performed solo bookings with guitar/piano, and has been the featured vocalist with many groups performing in Variety Bands, an Oldies Band, and Swing Bands. In 2005 she formed her own group, "Bobbe Shore and First Call", performing The Great American Songbook. They have performed at the top Jazz Clubs in the Metro area including Blues Alley, The Carlyle Club, and Bohemian Caverns and they've held steady bookings at the Ritz Lobby Lounge and the former Market Street Bar & Grill (Hyatt/Reston). Bobbe also works with private event clients.Bobbe enjoys coaching students who strive to be better performers. She was a 2009 WAMMIE (Washington Area Music Association) Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal.
Tina Smothers is the Vocal and Theater Director at Studio Bleu Dance Center in Ashburn VA. She has created the vocal and theater program at the studio which is thriving. Studio Bleu is the home of the D.C. Metro areas premier audition only children's performance groups. They can be seen performing in NYC, around the community and at places like Hershey Park. She also teaches privately and have had students on Broadway tours, professional vocalist, make it on national television shows and tour with some of the biggest stars of today like Florida. She is excited to be judging for this years event.
2017 Host for the Finals
Elaine Espinola Keltz is Speaker, Spokesperson, TV Show Host and Mrs. DC America 2015. The show 'I'm Every Woman' on Comcast Cable is an extension of her platform: Empowering Women through Entrepreneurship and Elaine continues to promote and support women through many ventures, including her mission to raise awareness in the Fight Against Human Trafficking. Elaine is a wife, mother, entrepreneur and local Loudoun County resident. In 2015, she was awarded '40 Under 40' by Leesburg Today and "People on the Move" by the Washington Business Journal. Elaine Hosts and Emcees event throughout the DMV and is the media spokesperson for Lerner Enterprises. Elaine is the Founder and Executive Director of Media SavvE, which offers consulting and services to increase brand visibility to small businesses through digital advertising. Media SavvE is the media partner for Viva Tysons, the Luxury Lifestyle Magazine. Elaine is an active community member and you can find her enjoying everything wonderful that Loudoun County has to offer with her family. (Including Blend!) http://www.mediasavve.net
To enter, here are some simple guidelines.
- Music or vocal performances (of no more than two performers) should be acts that one would hear in a coffee shop. It is highly recommended that vocal acts have live accompaniment vs pre-recorded accompaniment. If you do use pre-recorded music, you must provide the means for playback, either an iPod or Smartphone.
- You should be 13 years or older.
- Sign up for an audition slot & pay an entry fee.
- Agree that your likeness and performance may be broadcast in any manner of distribution to include, but not limited, to print publication, live broadcast or rebroadcast of any performance on any available means including but not limited to YouTube and social media. Your likeness and performance may be used for promotion of this year's event and other events in the future.
- If you make it to Finals, please provide us with a short bio and head shot picture to be used in advertising and press releases.
Supply sound amplification equipment. Mics, speakers and a mixer will be on-hand for acts. All instruments to be provided by participant
Judge on overall talent, originality and stage presence
Don't sing but would like to help one of the efforts AGT supports? Your donation goes straight to the non-profits.