For high school students with a gift for singing, national singing competitions like American Idol and The Voice can mean long school absences and grueling schedules.
So for two students with a serious set of pipes, the St. Louis Teen Talent Showcase Competition is the perfect compromise—an exciting competition with loads of prizes without having to travel or miss school.
The two Kirkwood performers, Lauren Geisz and Anna Hebrank, will join the competition during preliminary rounds March 10 and 11. The final winners will be chosen April 27 at The Fabulous Fox Theater.
Lauren Geisz, 16, chose to sing “So Much Better” from the musical Legally Blonde for the competition because it shows off her “god-given talent.”
“I love to belt. I just love singing,” said Lauren, who has been singing for about four years.
This will be Lauren’s second time at the competition, so she said she will “have a better understanding of what to expect.” Last year, she advanced beyond the first round and received an offer to go to Camp Broadway in New York. Her goal this year is to do better than last year.
Lauren has a piece of advice to offer first-time competitors: “Be yourself and smile! I feel like your smile will shine the most. It’ll tell them you’re having a good time on stage.”
Anna Hebrank, 17, will be performing “My Party Dress” from Henry and Mudge, an adorable romp of a song about life as a six-year-old.
“I chose it because it is very fun and entertaining,” Anna said. This will be Anna’s first competition. “I’m not really nervous, but I’m excited. I think it’ll be a good experience.”
To prepare, Anna is rehearsing the song with her school music director. She is also in two shows, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at Christian Brothers College High School and The Wizard of Oz at Kirkwood Community Center, where she is playing Dorothy.
Anna already plans to major in musical theater next year at Southeast Missouri State University, but competing in the Teen Talent Showcase gives her some much-needed experience.
“I’m hoping to make it as far as I can and have fun with it,” she said.