Our kids continue to impress at annual music contest auditions in Vernon

Our Kids Have Talent judges choose 12 finalists out of talented field of youth, who will perform at gala event March 31.

2011 Our Kids Have Talent finalist Abby Gregori

2011 Our Kids Have Talent finalist Abby Gregori

Our kids have proven once again that they are alright when it comes to musical talent.

As other former finalists of the local Our Kids Have Talent competition performed for the opening ceremonies of the B.C. Winter Games in Vernon Thursday, as well as with the Youth Symphony of the Okanagan performances around the valley this weekend, auditions for the fourth annual music competition resulted in 12 finalists in what is normally the top 10.

The auditions, held at the Parish Hall at St. James School in Vernon last weekend, saw a number of contestants –– both bands and individuals ages eight to 18 –– perform to the three judges: Juno nominee Nancy Nash, local singer/keyboardist/instructor Betty Ann Northup and guitarist/MACE frontman Jackson Mace.

“The talent was mind boggling and absolutely impossible for our three judges to select 10 winners. They couldn’t in all good conscience just choose one over the other,” said OKHT founder and organizer Kath Raeber, adding the results ended up in a three-way tie.

“We had a lot of bands this year –– more than ever before –– and four of them ended up in the finals.”

Support for the youth was also evident with the approximately 2,000 people filtering in and out of the venue over the 14 hours, two days of auditioning.

“It was really fantastic with that great support for the kids,” said Raeber.

The musicians next make their way to the finals, which will be held at ORA Restaurant in the Vernon Prestige Inn, March 31. All of the top 12 will perform and awards will be given to the top three, along with prizes in other categories. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the show will start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 (adults), $10 (youth eight to 18), available at the Bean Scene, call 250 938-2231, or pay online at www.ourkidshavetalent.com.

Here’s the list of finalists:

Bands:

1. Amistad (Aiden Andrews, Carson Bassett, Nolan Bassett, Craig Matterson and Brent Matterson)

2. Better Than Average (Brent Matterson, Will Friesen, Shane Ranger)

3. Gallon’s Corner (Connor Whiskin, Avery Podsnikoff, Jim Lagerquist, Tyrell Fraser)

4. The Shags (Derek Rush, Evan Aasen, Ryan Boesel)

Individuals:

5.  Megan Lauridsen

6. Jesse Mast

7. Beamer Wigley

8. Bjorn Kriel

9. Olivia Penalva

10. Megan Abel

Duos:

11. Haley Blais & Kiki Babbel

12. Lancen Harms & Cassie Little