Contests in the Generation for Creation talent contest pose for a picture in August 2007 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (Photo submitted)
Monica Johnson, director of Generation for Creation, a nonprofit visual and performing arts program based in Murfreesboro, is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Children’s Benefit Talent Show.
Now in its fifth year, the annual talent event showcases children ages 7-17 in the categories of art, dance, drama, music and modeling.
This year’s event featured Franklin native Lynnette Cole, Miss USA 2000, as its mistress of ceremonies, along with a three-member judges’ panel composed of Mary Caruthers Scales, a longtime Rutherford County educator, Greg Lyons, a freelance illustrator, and Leah Beth Bolton, an award-winning actress, volunteer for children’s charities and the reigning Miss Southern Tennessee Teen.
"These children are moving up in the world,” said Johnson, who founded the organization. “I have heard so many great things about this year’s performers, such how professional they looked, how amazing they were … and that it was great that all the children (who participated) received something. I really enjoyed our talent because it is always so diverse — from classical music, country and original songs, to stand-up comedy and modeling.”
She said she was impressed with the creativity of the children, noting she was glad that the organization has been able to provide a local contest that offers "children the opportunity to compete on a professional level.”
In this year’s art category, Aaliyah Gore, an Antioch Middle School student, took home first place for a self-portrait. Second place finisher Sterling Scott, a student at Rockvale Elementary School, for his work titled, "The Floating Lotus." Dakoda Rollins, of Rock Springs Middle School, placed third for "Before the Storm," a watercolor piece.
In the instrumental category, the first place award was handed out to Sarah Smith, a student at the Enswood School, for her piano sonata performance, while second prize was awarded to violinist Sterling Scott for his performance of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Third place finisher Aaliyah Gore won for performing a piece by Mozart on the flute.
In the music category, first place was awarded to Sunshine Scott, a student at Rockvale Elementary School, for her vocal rendition of “Blue Bayou,” with second place going to Mary Grace Williams, a student at Homer Pittard Campus School, for her vocal performance of “Anyway.” Molly Kenny, also a student at Homer Pittard Campus School, placed third for her choreographed vocal rendition of “Be My Baby.”
In the ages 13-17 division of the music category, first prize was taken by Wesley Stiles, a student at Blackman High School, for her interpretation of “Orange-Colored Sky, while Dakoda Rollins garnered secnd prize for his
original composition titled “3 Nails, 1 Cross, Forgiven” and Chanice Gore, a student at Nashville School for the Arts, placed third with her performance of “I Turn to You.”
In the drama category (all ages), the winners included first place to Sterling Scott for his comedy routine, and Dakoda Rollins placed second for his original comedy and tribute to Red Skelton. Third place was awarded to Sunshine Scott, who performed scenes from the “Annie” musical.
The show’s dance category (all ages) featured prize winners Chanice Gore, who won first place for her jazz-meets-hip-hop performance to “It’s My Turn Now." Aaliyah Gore took second place for her jazz-infused dance to a tune dubbed “Made," and third place winner Avionna Carrigan, a student at Blackman
Middle School, won for her jazz-meets-ballet performance to “El Tango de Roxanne.”
Cole, who returns to Tennessee from her current home in Minnesota each year to serve as the show’s hostess said, “Each year my spirit is renewed knowing that Generation for Creation exists giving children a place to encourage, develop, create and express their talents. Sometimes, we all need to remember our dreams as a child and aspire to be everything we want to be."
Each student who participated in the event received a certificate of appreciation. Additionally, the top 3 winners in each category received cash prizes, along with a trophy.
“Generation for Creation is very grateful to our sponsors and Sigma Alpha Iota at Middle Tennessee State University,” said Johnson, who said the nonprofit could not fulfill its outreach-through-the-arts mission without the generous and ongoing support of its sponsors.
For more information about Generation for Creation, go to www.gfckids.org or call 615-890-7116.
Among the contestants in the 2007 Generation for Creation Benefit Talent Show were (Back row, from left) Donna Underwood, Sarah Smith, Aviona Carrigan, Chanice Gore, Aailiyah Gore, Wesley Stiles and Dakoda Rollins, as well as (Front row, from left) Alison Gore, Molly Kenny, Mary Grace Williams, Sunshine Scott and Sterling Scott.