SUNBURY — Several singers at Thursday night’s ninth annual Valley’s Got Talent competition displayed such mature singing ability that the four-judge panel of experts and an audience of more than 450 people at the Shikellamy High School auditorium were left breathless, before bursting into applause.
Sixteen performers entertained the audience, but at the end of the night, the top prize of $400 was awarded to Dylan Kramer; second-place winner Nathan Merovich won $200, and Sadie Walshaw won $100 for finishing third.
The contest was judged by Ellen Boyer, a former Shikellamy High School teacher, now retired, singer Cassie Paul, Tom Webb, of Spyglass Winery, and Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella.
The talent contest kicked off Sunbury’s 30th River Festival, said talent show organizer Slade Shreck. “It’s amazing to me that for nine years we have been able to find such wonderfully talented people. I think this is a strong group this year.”
Kramer, of Elysburg, a tenth-grader at Southern Columbia Area High School, blew the house down with his version of “River” by Josh Groban. “You have an amazing instrument,” Boyer said of his voice. “I am honored to have heard you tonight.”
“What a talent,” Webb said.
Tenth-grader Rose Ostrowski sang Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved,” earning loud applause from the audience.
And Sadie Walshaw, of Herndon, and Shippensburg University, belted out a bluesy “House of the Rising Sun.”
Other performers of note during the first half of the show were Alyssa Bissallion, of Elysburg, singing “Over the Rainbow,” Renae Mack, of Selinsgrove, taking on Lady Gaga’s daring “You and I,” and delightful fourth-grader Gabriella Smolleck, of Lewisburg, also a Gaga fan, singing “Shallow.”
Scarcella at intermission said it was amazing how much talent there is in the Valley.