MORRISTOWN, NJ - The finalists for this year’s 11th annual Morristown ONSTAGE, sponsored by the Morris Educational Foundation (MEF), were recently announced and this year’s lineup features a diverse group of talented acts. Taking place on February 28 at the Mayo Performing Arts Center, this annual event is the largest MEF fundraiser of the year and will raise funds for each of the 10 Morris School District schools.
In order to create a well rounded show featuring a variety of acts, MEF executive director Debbie Sontupe said the committee selected many unique performers this year such as a contortionist, a piano duet and multiple solo singers and instrumental bands.
“Each year’s line up depends on the type of acts who come out for auditions,” said Sontupe. “However we do try to select a diverse group of performers in order to showcase the amount of talent we have in Morristown.”
Each year, Morristown ONSTAGE is hosted by Emmy-Nominated Tara Bernie and is broken down into two categories: under 18 years old and over 18 years old. Judges select one winner for each age group as well as one individual who will take home the Rossoff Rising Star Award. Audience members will also have the chance to vote on one act who will be awarded the audience choice award.
Among this year’s finalists is local band “Zap The Moles” which is made up of four local teenagers who only recently started playing together. Katelyn Nagy (14), Shaun Sapp (15), Dominic Mantobianca, (15) and Jonny Smith (14) have all know each other since kindergarten, but only started to performing together about a few months ago. Although they do not currently write their own music, they hope to in the future.
Also performing in this year’s under 18 category is 13 year old contortionist Allison Chong who will be performing a dance and acrobatics routine. After seeing posters around town advertising for the show, she decided to audition. Although she has practiced all dance genres since the age of four, she began practicing contortionism after her dance teacher noticed her unique talent.
“My dance teacher noticed early on how flexible I was and encouraged me to try it out,” said Chong.
For the show’s “over 18” category, local band “Spare Tire Band,” as well as singer Shayna Atkinson and many others who will be competing to take home this year’s grand prize.
For a complete list of finalists visit morristownonstage.com
Tickets will go on sale in early February 2018.