Up and Comer, Tour Veteran Named “Rising Stars”
At the end of an incredible show featuring 22 local acts giving their all in front of more than 630 people, 18-year-old singer/songwriter Charles Scott Yeager and 30-year-old singer and trumpet player John Parker DeHaven earned the title of Overture’s Rising Star on Saturday night. Their prize is a professional gig at Overture Center presented as part of Overture’s 2016/17 season.
Also honored with $250 prizes here:
- Singer Dr. Roderquita K. Moore of Madison in the Adult Music category
- Dancers and rappers The Jackson Twins including Makhi Jackson and Malique Jackson of Madison in the Youth Dance category
- Dancers & singers The Treble Trio, including Jack Frey, Kobi Johnson and Brett Fredrickson of Mount Horeb in the Teen Dance category
- Hip-hop trio Trilogy, including Jhanae Harris, Makahya Drake and Kiara Robinson of Madison in the Teen Music category
- Dance duo Devotion, including Michele Newberry and Elizabeth Newberry of Madison in the Adult Dance category
“A year ago, we started Rising Stars because we wanted to celebrate the talent in our surrounding communities by showcasing a variety of music, dance and other creative performances in a show in the historic Capitol Theater, said Tim Sauers, Vice President of Programming and Community Engagement at Overture Center. “We never could have anticipated having so many high quality acts audition or receiving such tremendous response from participants, community partners and audience members. However, it made us sure of one thing: Overture’s Rising Stars needed to be an annual celebration of our community.
“This group of performers absolutely validated that decision. They showed us their best in front of more than 600 people. For a lot of them, that’s the biggest audience they’ve ever had, and they nailed it. Every one of them is a winner just for making it this far, for putting themselves out there and sharing their talents with us. I’m thrilled that we can give this extra recognition and spotlight to a few, and hopefully give them the next push toward their goals.”
Yeager, a recent home-school graduate, comes from a musical family — his sister is currently studying performing arts, his mom is a pianist, and his dad made some of his guitars by hand.
“It was awesome. I like playing for more people, so I was less nervous. My energy level was way up and I was super pumped to be there,” Yeager said. “I’m very happy with how everything turned out. By next fall, everything will be polished up perfectly.”
He’s planning to move to Nashville in January.
“I’m pursuing music wide open with everything I got,” he said.
DeHaven also comes from musical roots, getting his start as a high school student playing in his grandfather’s jazz and swing bands. He went on to record and tour with indie pop band Bon Iver and toured Europe with the band Capillary Action.
It was performing without the band that felt strange.
“Under normal circumstances I’d have more musicians on stage with me,” he said. “ I’ve done maybe two other solo shows. It’s a big deal just being out there by yourself. I was more nervous than I expected to be.”
He learned about the Rising Stars program from a high school friend, Meg Aspinwall, who was a finalist in last year’s inaugural competition.
He hasn’t gotten into details with our programming department about next year’s show, but he hopes he isn’t required to perform solo.
“I’m looking forward to lots of collaborations in the coming year,” he said. “ I’d like to have (next year’s performance) feel as much like community thing as it was the other night.”
Overture’s Rising Stars program welcomed 160 acts to audition on August 8 and invited 59 to the callback on August 29. A panel of judges from the entertainment industry named 22 finalists, and a total of eight judges selected the winners.
Overture’s Rising Stars is sponsored by Madison-Kipp Corporation, The Great Dane and Sara and Eliot Butler.
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