BELMAR, NJ — Seven young performers outshone the competition in Belmar’s Shore Got Talent! show, held on May 19.
An enthusiastic audience of family and friends filled the Belmar Elementary School’s auditorium, where a panel of four judges chose a winner and first runner-up in each age category from among 26 finalists.
“The show was excellent, so many talented kids,” said Hawley Scull of Lake Como, whose son Fischer competed in the youngest age group. “I'm not sure how the judges made the decision on the winners … must have been tough. Everyone did so well, and there were great prizes, too.”
In the kindergarten through second-grade group, Jack Nicolay of Belmar, who sang “My Heart Will Go On,” emerged as the winner, while Ava Tolomanosi of Lake Como was the first runner-up with her rendition of “It’s Raining Tacos.”
In the third- through fifth-grade category, winner Charlene Polman of Belmar sang “How Far I’ll Go,” and first runner-up Christina Misnik of Belmar performed a gymnastic routine to Aladdin’s “Friend Like Me.”
The best talent in the sixth- through eighth-grade group were Athena Komitas and Nicole Tonny, both of Belmar, who captured first prize with their piano duet of Scott Joplin’s “Ragtime Dance,” and first runner-up Angela Westerfield of Wall, who performed an original interpretive dance to “Say Something.”
Coordinated by Belmar Elementary School music director Tom Brennan, the competition was judged by: Lindsey Miller, a local singer-songwriter who has earned recognition at both the Asbury Park Music Awards and the Jersey Acoustic Music Awards; Kerry White, choral director at Belmar Elementary School, who holds a master’s degree in music education; local musician Bobby Byrne who has played countless venues in the New York and Philadelphia area; and musician Alex LaRocca, who earned a bachelor’s degree in music education.
Also performing in the competition were these finalists:
Kindergarten through second grade: Fischer Scull, and Mia Grace Garcia and Gianni Greco, who performed together.
Third through fifth grade: Athena Cronin, Cormac Lawrence, Claire Doherty, Jessica Slovak, Kira Tolomanosi, Sharleen Polman, Helen Greco, and Angelina Pilatos and Mya Tyler, who performed together.
Sixth through eighth: Kahnchiaz Nealy, Kayla Kirk, Lauren Morse, Samantha and Tommy Golding, Hannah Doherty, Marie Quintero, Isabel Lusardi, Madelyn McManus, Julia Nicolay, Aidan Cole and Gracey Tolomanosi.
Some 25 local sponsors donated prizes to the event, which was a fundraising to benefit the Belmar Elementary School Eagle Band and Concert Chorus.