Volume 12 Week 5

Sunday, Feb. 15


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(Posted 8:30 p.m., Sept. 15)
East end singers take Kiwanis Idol competition by storm
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The talent pool in the far east end runs extremely deep as evident by the results of this year's Kiwanis Idol competition in which area singers dominated the list of Top 10 finalists and swept the top three spots.

The eventual winner was 20-year-old Convent Glen North resident Angela Rozman who improved on her second runner-up placing in last year's event

A huge fan of new country artists like Gretchen Wilson, Leanne Rimes and the Taylor Swift, Rozman sprinkled her performances with several popular songs including "Here For the Party" by Wilson and "You Were Mine" by the Dixie Chicks.

Kiwanis Idol winner Angela Rozman (centre) poses with first runner-up Sopkia Pantuso (left) and second runner-up Smantha Testa. Jamie Johnson/Photo

The St. Matthew High School graduate says she's grown a great deal as an artist from the first time she took part in the Kiwanis Idol competition at the tender age of 14.

"I was just trying to sing back then, I didn't know anything about performing. How you perform a song is very important. You have to try and get your audience to feel something. You don't have to have the greatest vocals, but if you can make a connection with the audience they're going to enjoy it a lot more," says Rozman who earned a ticket to Toronto during season two of Canadian Idol, but was cut during the first round of the finals.

Rozman has been writing her own material for over a year now. She mixed in one of her own songs during the second round of the Kiwanis Idol competition and is excited about getting into the studio to use up some of the $2,000 worth of studio time she received for finishing first.

"I'm really looking forward to recording some of my own music and getting some tracks made," says Rozman. "Being a poor student, getting $2,000 worth of studio time is huge."

Blackburn Hamlet resident Sophia Pantuso is also looking forward to getting into the studio after receiving 14 hours of recording time for being the first runner-up.

The 18-year-old Carleton University student stuck with the popular music genre in her song choices. For the final round she sang "You Light Up My Life" by Leanne Rhimes.

"It was an interesting experience. I've been in a lot of smaller competitions and this one was definitely top calibre," says Pantuso, who first sang in front of an audience when she was six. "I just love performing on stage."

Four other east end residents made the Top 10, including 16-year-old Samantha Testa, who was the second runner-up, and Chris Evans, who was the only male to make it to the Top 20. Brianna Quesnal, 16, and Meaghan Moore, 20, were also among the Top 10 finalists.

The top 20 performers in last year's Kiwanis Idol competition were invited to perform at a red carpet event held at the Centrepoint Theatre in the spring. For many it was the highlight of their young careers.

Rozman, Pantuso and the rest of the far est end contestants are hoping the event will be held again next year for the 2009 finalists.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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