BRANCHVILLE, N.J. — Students of local music teacher Elisa Girlando have been taking home the first place trophy from Sussex County’s Got Talent since 2014, this year was no exception. The annual competition was restructured this year to create age divisions and eight students, self proclaimed “Team Girlando,” finished in the top three of their group.
Despite the added pressure from the new format, the youngest students of Elisa Girlando Studios, 11-year-old Natalie Torres and seven year old Mia Sanchez earned first and second place respectively in the First Division.
In the Second Division competition Izabella Nowicki finished first and Jenna Halkyard earned third place. Finishing one, two and three, Samantha Perez, Amelya Race and Owen Walsh cleaned up for Team GIrlando.
Nina Strowe earned first place honors in the Adult Division.
This banner year follows a tradition for the Apple Tree Lane school. According to GIrlando:
Ava Mederos won first place in 2017 with “her incredible range,”
Ryde Mederos’ “powerful and emotional take on iconic songs” won first in 2016,
Cassidy Walsh “wowed audiences with her big voice and piano playing” to win first in 2015,
Kelly Wask “Stole the show singing country classics,” winning first in 2014.
Girlando has worked with students from Sparta Middle School and Sparta High School through both private instruction and in Glee Club. Last year she do-directed “High School Musical.
“It makes me so proud when I see my students on stage,” Girlando said. “I put so much of my heart into what I do.”