Nia Balbo

Nia

Nicole Farda

Nicole

Rachel Emily Hankers

Rachel

Stephanie Marie Hanvey

Stephanie

Jamel Coy Hudson

Jamel

Vanessa Khoury

Vanessa

Kristi Ann Long

Kristi Ann

Amanda Marucci

Amanda

Melanie Adele Martinez

Melanie

Matthew Mayer

Matthew

Amelia Profaci

Amelia

Lexxi Saal

Lexxi

Kayla Stockert

Kayla

Nick Tangorra

Nick

Lisa Vetrone

Lisa

Sam Waxenbaum

Sam


Nia Balbo (eliminated)

Senior | Kellenberg Memorial HS | Uniondale, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Nia Balbo
Watch: Episode 4, Nia Balbo

Nia Balbo is currently a senior at Kellenberg Memorial High School. She started singing at four years old while in the car with her family. She began formalizing her career at six when she performed in the song Colors of the Wind and then acted in her first show as an 8th Grader in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

The National Honor Society student is inspired by Adele and Demi Lovato since they both overcame major obstacles to become successful. She admires Lovato for being from a small town and overcoming her eating disorder while maintaining a strong image for her fans.

Nia has been a very active member in her youth group for the past five years, taking part in “Broadway for Backpacks” where performers raise funds for school supplies by performing Broadway tunes. Nia also loves the theatre and hopes to perform on the big stage in the future.

Nia currently resides in Island Park, New York.


Nicole Farda (eliminated)

Freshman | Yorktown HS | Yorktown Heights, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Nicole Farda
Watch: Episode 2, Nicole Farda

Nicole Farda is currently a freshman at Yorktown High School. She has been taking vocal lessons for about 6 months.  Farda has also taken piano lessons for 3 months and can play by ear.

Farda’s favorite singer and inspiration is Adele.  She loves her voice and how she writes all of her music from her heart.  Her other inspiration is Justin Bieber, who she shares a birthday with.

Farda would be honored to sing at the VMAs in front of all of her favorite artists.

Nicole currently resides in Yorktown Heights, NY.


Rachel Emily Hankers (eliminated)

Junior | Centereach HS | Centereach, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Rachel Hankers
Watch: Episode 1, Rachel Hankers


Rachel is currently a junior at Centereach High School. She started singing and acting in her local community theater as an eight-year-old at the encouragement of the mother of one of her friends, who saw her perform in elementary school.

Rachel’s musical career took off from there having won multiple local competitions including: 2009 “Centereach Idol” (Middle School Division), 2010 Town of Brookhaven Vocal Talent Show (Teen Division), 2010 “Long Island’s Got Talent”, 2011 “Long Island Idol” (Suffolk County Winner) and First Place at the “American Idol Experience Finale” the same year. In addition to these accomplishments, Rachel had the honor of performing the National Anthem with her brother at Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s inauguration.

Rachel is an honor student who considers her mother to be her biggest inspiration. She credits her mom with having things in order for her auditions and performances, as well as keeping her grounded by reminding her that education comes first.

Rachel hopes to pursue a college career in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science.  Her dream performance would be to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl.

Rachel currently resides in Centereach, New York.


Stephanie Marie Hanvey (eliminated)

Freshman | Howell HS | Farmingdale, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know Stephanie Hanvey
Watch: Episode 2,  Stephanie Hanvey

Stephanie Marie Hanvey is a freshman at Howell High School.  For someone who started her singing career relatively late at age nine, Stephanie is certainly making up for lost time!

The Howell High School Freshman hit the ground running by winning Amateur Night at the Apollo, New Jersey Nets Kids Search and numerous talent shows by age 10.  She was then discovered by Latin Grammy Winner Sergio George, who brought her to Miami to her first album called BKIDZ, where Stephanie was the lead singer.

Upon her return to school, she found acceptance difficult as she was so quiet.  Her shyness became the inspiration for her successful hit I’m That Girl, a song that highlights the differences in people. From there, Stephanie became the first-ever 6th grader to be the lead in her middle school play, which allowed her to show her classmates who she truly is.

Things began to flourish in 2010 when Stephanie traveled to Los Angeles and professionally recorded I’m That Girl.  She won the regional Six Flags “Fame, Fortune and Flags” Teen Pop Sensation, earning a spot on stage with JLS and Hot Chelle Rae.

On top of her performing, Stephanie is extremely involved in cause-related activities. Among her pursuits: performing on Easter at Club All Star in Elizabeth to benefit the local Boys and Girls Club, Annual Autism Speaks Walk in NJ (wrote a song called Beauty in Your Eyes), Love for Logan James Parker (performs to raise money for children’s cancer) and Becca’s Closet (raises money for girls who cannot afford to purchase prom dresses for school events).

Stephanie, whose inspiration comes from her mother, also performed with children from all over the world at the International Child Art Foundation in Washington, D.C. this past fall and has a dream of one day performing at the Grammys.

Stephanie currently resides in Howell, New Jersey.


Jamel Coy Hudson (eliminated)

Senior | St. Anthony's HS | South Huntington, N.Y.

Watch: Episode 1, Jamel Hudson

Jamel Coy Hudson is currently a senior at St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington. He dances, acts, plays the guitar and piano. This past summer, he showcased his talents in a one-man show, “This Is Me,” at the Islip Town Hall.

Jamel’s favorite singers are Sammy Davis, Jr. and Prince because both men have had the ability to captivate audiences with great live performances and have been highly respected, extraordinary entertainers. However, he credits Michael Jackson as being his biggest inspiration since at only four years old Jamel started watching tapes of Jackson and mimicking his dance moves.

In addition to his musical talents, Jamel is also a three-time Catholic High School Champion in wrestling, winning the New York State Wrestling Championship this year in the 132 lb. weight class. At the start of the championship round at the State Finals this year, Jamel incorporated his vocal talents when he sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Jamel would love to perform at Carnegie Hall in a style reminiscent of members of the famed Rat Pack—Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Jamel currently resides in Bay Shore, New York.


Vanessa Khoury (eliminated)

Freshman | Lodi HS | Lodi, N.J.

Watch: Episode 4, Vanessa Khoury

Vanessa Khoury is a freshman at Lodi High School. She started singing at age four, which led to her first-ever talent show appearance in 1st Grade.

Vanessa followed her dream and won the 2011 People's Choice honor at the First Annual Teen Kula Idol competition which benefited the Kula for Karma Foundation. The People's Choice Award was tabulated by combining mybergen.com online votes with audience text votes collected at the actual competition.

Vanessa was also selected by a panel of celebrity and music industry judges as second place in the overall Teen Kula competition. Vanessa has performed at the Tomorrow’s Children Benefit at the Hackensack/Lodi Boys and Girls Club as well as at New York City Hall for the American Arabic Engineers Architect Association (AAAEA) for the past few years.

In addition to her singing talents, Vanessa is an accomplished athlete. She’s a member of the Lodi High School JV volleyball team, and is the starting center/power forward on the school’s varsity basketball team.

Vanessa views her family as being the biggest inspiration to launching her singing career. She admires Whitney Houston and Celine Dion as performers because of their vocal range and powerful voice respectively. Her ultimate goal would be to perform at the VMAs because “the opportunity to sing with other famous and professional singers would be a dream come true.”

Vanessa currently resides in Lodi, New Jersey.


Kristi Ann Long (eliminated, Round 2)

Senior | Bishop Kearney HS | Brooklyn, N.Y.

Watch: Episode 1, Kristi Long
Watch: Episode 5, Kristi Long

Kristi Ann Long is currently a senior at Bishop Kearney High School. Besides singing, her passion is musical theatre.  She’s been performing in various shows since she was a child.  Long is in the high school concert choir and also received third runner-up in the National American Miss Pageant (NAM) last year.

Long’s biggest inspiration is her mom.  She encourages her everyday to follow her dreams and reassures her that she can succeed.  Another big inspiration in her life is Beyoncé, who Long says inspires women throughout the world to follow their dreams and to never give up on themselves – a motto that she will always live by.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Long is currently the Senior Vice President of her high school Student Council.

Kristi Ann currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.


Melanie Adele Martinez (eliminated, Round 2)

Junior | Baldwin HS | Baldwin, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Melanie Martinez
Watch: Episode 2, Melanie Martinez
Watch: Episode 5, Melanie Martinez

Melanie Martinez is currently a junior at Baldwin Senior High School. She realized at age 3 that she enjoyed singing, and she didn’t stop there!  Melanie started playing guitar a year later as a four-year-old. Over the years, she cultivated those skills enough to win Baldwin Senior High School’s Talent Show as a sophomore last year.  Melanie learned to play the ukulele, and has performed at a number of local Open Mics throughout Long Island.

Melanie has turned her hobby as a photographer into a profession, where as a 9th grader she was paid to do portrait and conceptual work. Most recently she flew to Gainsville, Florida for her first wedding assignment!

The multi-talented young lady, who lists Regina Spektor and Zooey Deschanel as her biggest inspiration, appreciates acoustic and “indie” music for their soothing and inspiring sounds.

Melanie currently resides in Baldwin, New York.


Amanda Marucci (eliminated)

Junior | Fiorello La Guardia School of Music, Art & Performing Arts | New York, N.Y.

Watch: Episode 3, Amanda Marucci

Amanda Marucci is currently a junior at Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music, Art & Performing Arts in Manhattan. She was recognized as “Teen Idol of Brooklyn 2011: Fan Favorite,” and as the Top Vocalist in her graduating Junior High School, Bay Academy I.S. 98.

Marucci credits her grandmother LuLu with being her greatest inspiration.  She is her biggest fan and constantly encourages her to “reach for the stars.”  Her favorite singer is her sister Christen, who has been a singer/songwriter since the age of 17.

In addition to her musical pursuits, Amanda describes herself as a “total jock” that plays varsity basketball for her high school.

Amanda currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.


Matthew Mayer - WINNER

Senior | Commack HS | Commack, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Matthew Mayer
Watch: Episode 2, Matthew Mayer
Watch: Episode 5, Matthew Mayer
Watch: Episode 7, Matthew Mayer

Matthew Mayer is currently a senior at Commack High School. Mayer was recognized as a “Commack Idol” finalist during his senior year and also came in 5th place while taking part in Music Madness (Battle of the Bands) during his sophomore year.

As a freshman, Mayer watched his first Anti-Violence Initiative Day (AVID), a student-designed multimedia presentation promoting a caring environment for students.  AVID is what inspired Mayer to take music seriously as he was moved by the musical talent and the messages that the show gave off. Mayer says, “AVID is the most fun day of the school year.”

In addition to his musical pursuits, Matthew will attend Penn State next year.

Matthew currently resides in Commack, N.Y.


Amelia Profaci (eliminated)

Sophomore | Walt Whitman HS | South Huntington, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Amelia Profaci
Watch: Episode 3, Amelia Profaci

Amelia Profaci is currently a sophomore at Walt Whitman High School. During her schooling, Profaci has been involved in school plays, chorus, NYSSMA and SCMEA. Amelia says that her dad is her biggest inspiration.

Amelia sang for David Foster, performed at the Apollo and is also in an all-girl band.

In addition to her musical pursuits, she received a scholarship to Five Towns College in Dix Hills.

Amelia currently resides in Huntington Station, New York.


Lexxi Saal (eliminated, Round 2)

Freshman | Deer Park HS | Deer Park, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Lexxi Saal
Watch: Episode 4, Lexxi Saal
Watch: Episode 6, Lexxi Saal

Lexxi Saal is currently a freshman at Deer Park High School.

At age 11, when Lexxi sang the National Anthem at her elementary school graduation, she realized singing was the career she wanted to pursue. Since then, Lexxi has performed at the Apollo Theater, and this year opened up for Cody Simpson at the Tanger Outlets Tree Lighting Ceremony in Deer Park.  She has received numerous awards from the United States Army for a song she wrote for the men and women in the military.

In addition to her musical exploits, Lexxi is very active in cause-related activities. She started a website called Beat it Bully.com in April of 2011, and travels to schools throughout the Northeast both performing and discussing the issue of bullying. She also started the Lexxi Loves Foundation, whose mission is to “Make a Child Smile” by spreading awareness, encouraging volunteerism and making donations to help the children in the foster care system.

Lexxi, who has been on the school’s silver and gold honor rolls, sees her parents and friends as her biggest inspiration. She also has the unique distinction of owning a 500+ SuperBall Collection and one day dreams of performing at the VMAs or Grammys.

Lexxi currently resides in Deer Park, New York.


Kayla Stockert (advanced to finals)

Freshman | Sayville HS | West Sayville, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Kayla Stockert
Watch: Episode 1, Kayla Stockert
Watch: Episode 5, Kayla Stockert
Watch: Episode 7, Kayla Stockert

Kayla Stockert is currently a freshman at Sayville High School. She is in musical theater and has been taking voice lessons since the age of 10.  Stockert received two voice school scholarships in elementary and middle school, as well as five outstanding scores in NYSSMA.

Stockert’s mom and dad are her biggest inspirations as they have supported her singing choices since she was very young.  She says, “Singing isn’t just a dream, they support me, making it a reality.”

If Kayla had the chance, she would love to open up for “My Chemical Romance” and sing with Gerard Way.  Her favorite type of music is oldies and she compares herself to Taylor Swift.

Kayla currently resides in Sayville, New York.


Nick Tangorra (eliminated, Round 2)

Freshman | Bethpage HS | Bethpage, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Nick Tangorra
Watch: Episode 4, Nick Tangorra
Watch: Episode 6, Nick Tangorra

Nick Tangorra is a freshman at Bethpage High School.  He has been singing since he was three years old and enjoys all forms of music including pop, R&B and rock and roll. He has taken that appreciation and molded it into a career that includes performing with a Columbian Band as a six-year-old and in theater productions since third grade.

Nick has leant his musical talents to a number of charitable groups. As a committee member for Rock Out Autism, he raises money for children and adult programs and encourages mentoring for those with autism. He has received multiple awards and citations for these performances and work he’s done in their music programs. Nick is also involved with a national anti-bullying campaign called Find The Courage, which encourages kids to stand up for themselves.

Nick’s biggest inspiration and influence is his brother Rafe, who has been with Nick every step of the way while pursuing his own music career and college education.

Nick’s favorite singer is Bruno Mars because of the positive role model he is for today’s society.  Nick’s ultimate dream performance would be to sing at a sold out crowd at Madison Square Garden.

Nick currently resides in Bethpage, New York.


Lisa Vetrone (advanced to finals)

Senior | North Shore HS | Glen Head, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Lisa Vetrone
Watch: Episode 3, Lisa Vetrone
Watch: Episode 6, Lisa Vetrone
Watch: Episode 7, Lisa Vetrone

Lisa Vetrone is currently a senior at North Shore High School. Vetrone’s biggest musical inspiration was her Grandfather.  He introduced her to music including the Rat Pack, Etta James and Billie Holiday.  She said, “It was my first taste of music and he’s the only other person in the family who can sing!”

Vetrone’s musical taste ranges from Bob Dylan to Lady Gaga.  Her favorite band is the Beatles, who define music for her.  Her favorite singers are Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Eric Burdon, Janis Joplin and Freddy Mercury.  Vetrone said, “They each have such unique styles and tones, and they infuse so much emotion into their performances.”

In addition to her musical pursuits, Lisa intends to go to New York University next year.

Lisa currently resides in Glen Cove, New York.


Sam Waxenbaum (advanced to finals)

Senior | Mahwah HS | Mahwah, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know Sam Waxenbaum
Watch: Episode 3, Sam Waxenbaum
Watch: Episode 6, Sam Waxenbaum
Watch: Episode 7, Sam Waxenbaum

Sam Waxenbaum is a senior at Mahwah High School. He began singing at age two with his sister. By age seven, Sam had performed in Oliver at a local community theater.

A member of the New Jersey All State Chorus, Sam keeps very busy not only with his musical pursuits, but also with his academics. He is a member of the Bergen County Mock Trial team who were finalists in 2010, 2011 and 2012 and champions in 2011. Sam was also a champion as a member of the N.J. Future Problem-Solving State Bowl team and is currently captain of the Mahwah High School team competing in MSG Varsity’s "The Challenge."

He considers his family to be the driving force behind his singing, as he has been entertaining them since he was little and they’ve watched it grow into a talent that he "enjoys sharing to make others happy."

Sam is hoping to be a law student with, perhaps, plans for a political future. His most memorable performance was at the Night of Broadway Stars where he was able to sing and raise money for the Covenant House for homeless youth, an organization he feels deserves more attention for the amazing things they do.

Sam currently resides in Mahwah, New Jersey.


The B-Sharps (advanced to finals)

Plainview-JFK HS | Plainview, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know "The B-Sharps"
Watch: Episode 1, The B-Sharps
Watch: Episode 5, The B-Sharps
Watch: Episode 7, The B-Sharps

The B-Sharps from Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, NY were the first a cappella group established at their school eleven years ago. They were featured on Fox 5’s Good Day New York Glee Club Segment in April 2011 where they sang “Brown Eyed Girl.” In addition, they’ve performed at several community service events including the Senior Citizen Tea, at Mix it Up Day—an anti-bullying event, as well as  various DECA Fundraisers which donate to charities such as the Ronald McDonald House.

Members:

Chase Brown, Senior
Joe Butensky, Senior
Matt Goldman, Sophomore
Andrew Hasher, Sophomore
Ian Krivoruk
Matthew Kurnit, Freshman
Max Naftol, Freshman
Bobby Namdar, Senior
Seth Noreman, Senior
Joseph Park, Senior
Alex Resnick, Sophomore
Jonah Stever, Junior
Ross Wolkenbrod, Senior
Sam Weinstein, Senior


The Cat's Meow (eliminated)

Warwick Valley HS | Warwick, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know "The Cat's Meow"
Watch: Episode 4, "The Cat's Meow"

The Cat’s Meow is an a cappella choir from Warwick Valley High School in Warwick that has been together since October. More than fifty students auditioned to be part of this group of eleven.  The Cat’s Meow choreographs all of their own dances, and chooses their own music. On April 19th, they are slated to perform at Disney World.

Members:

Charlotte Caskey, Junior
Allison Dethmers, Senior
Anna Galitzine, Junior
Kristen Geary, Junior
Brooke Hamling, Senior
Naomi Hanson, Freshman
Ava Heatly, Junior
Francesca Huey, Senior
Kayla Jardine, Senior
Ally Rosen, Sophomore
Carolyn Weller, Freshman


Half and Half - WINNER

Allentown HS | Manasquan, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know "Half and Half"
Watch: Episode 4, Half and Half
Watch: Episode 6, Half and Half
Watch: Episode 7, Half and Half

Half and Half is a vocal ensemble from Allentown High School that is made up of an equal number of male and female students. The group arranges their own music, but taps into fellow students and competition dancers to choreograph their numbers— Taylor Fields and Aimee Lin, who is also an alumni of the Rockette’s Summer Intensive Program. Allentown High School is very supportive of Half and Half. They are holding a school talent show on April 20th called A-Town’s Got Talent, to promote the group’s participation in the MSG Varsity Talent Show.

Members:

Ariana Albarella, Senior
Brianna Chin, Junior
Hannah Cuffari, Junior
Ligia DePompo, Sophomore
Jason Diaz, Sophomore
Jordan Fisher, Senior
Angelisa Hinton, Freshman
Amanda Kilcher, Senior
Westin Lohne, Junior
Morgan Lubbe, Senior
Michael Massey, Sophomore
Eric Mendelsohn, Senior
Dylan Myers, Junior
Emily Nalbone, Senior
Will Olexsak, Senior
Michael Olio, Senior
Jay Scott, Sophomore
Mary Toth, Senior
Kaitlyn Wilhalme, Sophomore
Dave Zarish, Freshman


The Highland Voices (eliminated, Round 2)

Northern Highlands HS | Allendale, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know "The Highland Voices"
Watch: Episode 2, The Highland Voices
Watch: Episode 5, The Highland Voices

The Highland Voices from Northern Highlands High School in New Jersey just made the switch from a madrigal group to an a cappella group. They were recently named the winners of the International Competition of High School A Cappella (ICHSA) Mid-Atlantic Region, which afforded them the honor of performing at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to open for the College A Cappella competition. 

Members:

Alice An, Senior
Joe Baez, Senior
Eric Benoit, Senior
Blair Cagney, Sophomore
Chris Clark, Senior
Justin deParis, Sophomore
Brittany DiNardo, Senior
Olivia Dulmage, Senior
Mike Haliczer, Senior
Tom Kiely, Senior
Catherine Kim, Senior
Julia Kim, Junior
Anna Lovallo, Senior
Trilby Norton, Senior
Melissa Primrose, Senior
Ryan Primrose, Senior
Nick Puig, Junior
Andrew Sachs, Senior
Jamie Tofano, Sophomore
Colin Verhoff, Senior
Samantha Walter, Senior
Tricia Wilson, Sophomore


North Salem Madrigals (eliminated)

North Salem, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the North Salem Madrigals
Watch: Episode 1, North Salem Madrigals

The North Salem Madrigals from North Salem, NY are a group of 31 singers who rarely practice as a full ensemble. Typically, they practice as an entire group right before performances. This school year they performed at a North Salem Senior Citizens Christmas Luncheon, at a 9/11 Memorial Ceremony in North Salem, at a local Holocaust Memorial Event and at the Annual Foundation for Learning Scholarship Presentation Evening.

Members:

Luke Batchelder, Junior
Siri Burt, Junior
Joanne Carminucci, Freshman
Danielle DiGiacoma, Freshman
Annabelle Dunn, Freshman
Sara Falco, Freshman
Alexandra Fraioli, Freshman
Michele Garville, Sophomore
Bobbie Gasparri, Senior
Lindsay Gasparri, Freshman
Natalie Harde, Freshman
Devon Jefferson, Senior
Brittney Leonard, Junior
Katy Leonard, Freshman
Paddy Loftus, Freshman
Kalya Milanes, Freshman
Kim Milano, Junior
Megan Moore, Sophomore
Chelsea Morin, Freshman
Meredith Perettine, Freshman
John-Luke Portal, Senior
Kristzanna Preston, Senior
Nicki Ruggi, Junior
Jillian Shurmacher, Junior
Stephanie Shea, Freshman
Lauren Talio, Sophomore
Matthew Tessler, Sophomore
Natalie Tiffany, Junior
Talyah Uslianer, Sophomore
Jessica Wolff, Junior
Jenna Zappolo, Sophomore


Rhythm of the Knight (eliminated)

Uniondale HS | Uniondale, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know Rhythm of the Knight
Watch: Episode 3, Rhythm of the Knight

Rhythm of the Knight from Uniondale High School is a group of singers that were brought together less than two years ago by a Broadway Actress turned teacher, Lynette Carr-Hicks. They performed in the Glee Club Segment of Fox 5’s Good Day New York on December 20th 2011, and in March they were the winners of the Grand Trophy at FAME New York, the Show Choir National Championship Series held at Lincoln Center. On July 8, they will be performing at CitiField prior to the Mets vs. Cubs game.

Members:

Safirya Ambresley, Sophomore
Kenyo Baly, Sophomore
Tye Bradley, Freshman
Kayla Broady, Senior
Tiasheikee Dodd, Junior
Kashana Farrow, Junior
Khalid Gallant, Junior
Brittany Gibson, Sophomore
Gabriella Hernandez, Sophomore
Jonathan Hunter, Junior
Kiara Hunter, Junior
Charles Jackson, Junior
Amber Johnson, Junior
Andrew Kimble, Sophomore
Cary Lamb, Junior
Nasir Lilly, Sophomore
Antonio Lopez, Freshman
Ariana Morrison, Freshman
Courtney Porter, Junior
Sydney Rampasaud, Junior
Brandon Spruill, Senior
Sophia Valentin, Sophomore
Michael Walker, Sophomore
Jaeson Williams, Freshman


Rumour Has It (eliminated, Round 2)

Stratford HS | Stratford, Conn.

Watch: Getting to know "Rumour Has It"
Watch: Episode 3, Rumour Has It
Watch: Episode 6, Rumour Has It

Rumour Has It is an a cappella choir from Stratford High School. The group of four girls has only been singing together since the beginning of the school year and they have only known one another a little longer than that. Their resume includes performing an a cappella version of I’ll Be There at a wedding prior to the bride’s entrance, as well as Stratford’s Tree Lighting, a Veteran’s Breakfast at the Community Center and for the Bridgeport Hospital.

Members:

Mary Tourigny, Junior
Abbie Perez, Sophomore
Megan Aviles, Sophomore
Samantha Feliciano, Sophomore


S.S. Seward Institute Select Choir (eliminated)

Florida, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the S.S. Seward Select Choir
Watch: Episode 2, S.S. Seward Select Choir

The S.S. Seward Institute Select Choir from the village of Florida, NY is an extracurricular club made up of eleven students ranging from grades eight through twelve. They perform two to three times a year at The Center for Discovery in Harris, NY, a facility dedicated to helping children and adults with severe disabilities. Additionally, they have performed at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and in Albany for Music in Our Schools.

Members:

Amanda Brands, Senior
Sara Cannillo, Junior
Marian Cordaro, Senior
Charlotte Diefenbach, Junior
Beth Gilliard, Senior
Jen Morelli, Senior
Emma Nicholson, Junior
Olivia Nicholson, Eighth Grade
Mike Pawliczac, Sophomore
Samantha Schieman, Junior
Alyssa Yee, Sophomore


Chiefs Dance Team of Piscataway HS - WINNER

Piscataway, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know the Chiefs Dance Team of Piscataway HS
Watch: Episode 3, Chiefs Dance Team of Piscataway HS
Watch: Episode 6, Chiefs Dance Team of Piscataway HS
Watch: Episode 7, Cheifs Dance Team of Piscataway HS

The Piscataway HS Dance Team, who call themselves the "Wiawama Mamas," draw on their backgrounds in several disciplines (tap, jazz, ballet contemporary, hip hop) to entertain crowds in the Garden State.

Among their accomplishments, they placed third in the EDA Garden State Dance Classic in the varsity hip hop category. They describe their halftime performance of "Thriller" as their most memorable performance.

The team lists Beyonce as an inspiration because "we feel we understand and capture her style." They would love to perform at the VMAs because "All of the most memorable performances happen" there.

Team members:

Brittany Stevens, Sr.
Daniella Sosa, Sr.
Ashlei Hazell, Jr.
Sabrina Quiles, Sr.
Tyaija Shakir, So.
Mercedes Rodriguez, Sr.


DePaul Catholic HS Dance Team (eliminated, Round 2)

Wayne, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know the DePaul Catholic HS Dance Team
Watch: Episode 4, DePaul Catholic HS Dance Team
Watch: Episode 6, DePaul Catholic HS Dance Team

The DePaul Catholic High School Dance Team was created five years ago by Coach Rita Aboyoun’s daughter. Members must audition at the beginning of the school year to become part of the team, which added a Tap Ensemble this year called “Have Wood Will Dance.” To encourage people to vote for them in the MSG Varsity Talent Show, they had shirts made that say “Vote: DePaul Catholic Dance Team.”

Members:

Kaitlin Alarcon, Sophomore from Patterson, NJ
Kasey Alarcon, Sophomore from Patterson, NJ
Sarah Bombino, Junior from West New York, NJ
Rachel Coyman, Freshman from Hewitt, NJ
Gabriella Ferrara, Senior from Wayne, NJ
Amanda Giuliano, Junior from Wayne, NJ
Kristian James, Junior from Midland Park, NJ
Nikole Lisa, Sophomore from Ringwood, NJ
Amanda Majer, Freshman from Buttler, NJ
Shannon Marren, Sophomore from Woodland Park, NJ
Megan Mazzanna, Junior from Kinnelon, NJ
Shannon McGlynn, Senior from Pompton Plains, NJ
Mariel Mendez, Sophomore from Ringwood, NJ
Nicole Muncgal, Sophomore from Wayne, NJ
Tricia Urgo, Senior from Woodland Park, NJ
Brittany Vervaet, Junior from North Haledon, NJ
Michele Villegas, Senior from Lincoln Park, NJ


Half Hollow Hills HS West Wranglerettes (eliminated)

Dix Hills, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the Hills West Wranglerettes
Watch: Episode 2, Hills West Wranglerettes

The Wranglerettes from Half Hollow Hills High School in Dix Hills are a team of dancers who are no strangers to competition. Led by their coach of 34 years, they were crowned the National Hip Hop Champions at the Disney World Contest of Champions this year. The team captains are responsible for choreographing dances and teaching them to the rest of the group—all of this is done in a gymnasium without mirrors, so critiquing is all peer and coach-based.

Members:

Marianna Allevato, senior
Jillian Bass, junior
Starr Edghill, sophomore
Gabrielle Ferro, senior
Jaclyn Kantrowitz, junior
Tiffani Lange, freshman
Brittany Manchisi, freshman
Bria Martone, sophomore
Alexis Mitchnick, freshman
Samantha Mitchnick, junior
Alexandra Molinelli, senior
Lauren Schreier, freshman
Dana Shanon, senior
Samantha Spiesman, freshman
Amanda Zwerin, junior


Harrison HS Dance Team (eliminated)

West Harrison, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the Harrison Dance Team
Watch: Episode 3, Harrison Dance Team

The Harrison High School Dance Team was established 14 years ago, making it one of the first High School dance teams in Westchester County. This non-competitive dance team performs at both boys’ and girls’ home varsity basketball games. And, they recently performed during half time of a New York Knicks game.

Members:

Nicole Barletta, Senior
Daniela Castillo, Junior
Nicole Cuneo, Sophomore
Talya Evans, Junior
Tori Feeney, Sophomore
Mariana Galeano, Junior
Danielle Mehlman, Sophomore
Alexa Nardolli, Senior
Olivia Pagano, Sophomore
Celeste Perez, Sophomore
Cayla Pettinato, Senior


Kabukai Dance Crew (eliminated)

Valley Stream South HS | Valley Stream, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the Kabukai Dance Crew
Watch: Episode 1, Kabukai Dance Crew

The Kabukai Dance Crew from Valley Stream South High School mixes their own songs, and can dance to all styles of music. They practice together every day after school for two hours and then again on Saturdays. They won second place in the “Valley Stream South High School Talent Show and Character Action: Make a Difference Award.”

Members:

Jordan Cohen, Senior
Kevin Guardia, Senior
Jay Smith, Senior


Larkin Dancers (advanced to Round 2)

Studio L | Waldwick, N.J.

Watch: Getting to know the "Larkin Dancers"
Watch: Episode 1, Larkin Dancers
Watch: Episode 5, Larkin Dancers

The Larkin Dancers from Studio L in Waldwick, NJ are a team of 21 dancers who come from eleven different high schools. Performing together for ten years, the Larkin Dancers are a competitive dance team that has won numerous awards. In addition, they take part in charity events including a Flash Mob in Central Park coordinated by the Susan G. Komen Foundation where they joined countless others dancing to Katy Perry’s Firework.

Members:

Kelsey Austin, Junior from Suffern HS
Carly Blaney, Senior from Ramapo HS
Nathan Bray, Sophomore from Fairlawn HS
Ashley Ferraro, Sophomore from Waldwick HS
Skylar Flaherty, Sophomore from Northern Highlands HS
Maclaine Funsch, Sophomore from Northern Highlands, HS
Alexa Gambuti, Junior from Ramapo HS
Tyler Glovin, Junior from Waldwick HS
Iliana Gravina, Freshman from Northern Highlands HS
Katherine Hansen, Junior from Glenrock HS
Samantha Jankowitz, Junior from Mahwah HS
Caroline Kim, Freshman from Ridgewood HS
Lacey Larkin, Senior from Northern Highlands HS
Alfred Lockhart, Sophomore from Northern Valley Regional Demarest HS
Molly Martel, Junior from Mahwah HS
Jordana Peskin, Junior from Suffern HS
Jackie Poulis, Junior from Northern Highlands HS
Amanda Scerbo, Freshman from Oakland HS
Sara Sepulveda, Junior from Suffern HS
Emily Trinkler, Junior from Northern Highlands HS
Nicole Vilardo, Senior from Hawthorne HS


Rosa Park HS Dance Ensemble (advanced to finals)

Patterson, N.J.

Watch: Episode 2, Rosa Parks Dance Ensemble
Watch: Episode 5, Rosa Parks Dance Ensemble
Watch: Episode 7, Rosa Parks Dance Ensemble

The dancers from the ensemble group at Rosa Parks High School of Fine and Performing Arts must audition to participate in the school’s dance program and then again for every dance they will participate in. Led by teacher Erin Pride, a dancer and RPHS graduate herself, the students choreograph some of their own dances while Pride choreographs others. The students from RPHS had the honor of being selected to perform with two other youth dance companies at Dance Jam, held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).

Members:

Kiyomy Alvarado, Sophomore
Zachary Downer, Freshman
Azhcre Fleming, Senior
Kieara Franceis, Sophomore
Nicole Greene, Sophomore
Dajuan Harris, Freshman
Azhane Harrison, Freshman
Kevin Hurtado, Senior
Ianna McGregor, Sophomore
Thalia Mercado, Senior
Amber Pinero, Freshman
Hayzer Rosario, Senior


Sachem North Varsity Arrowettes (eliminated)

Sachem North HS | Holbrook, N.Y.

Watch: Getting to know the Sachem North Arrowettes
Watch: Episode 4, Sachem North Arrowettes

The Sachem North Varsity Arrowettes from Holbrook are already the recipients of several awards for their dancing. They were the Long Island Jazz Champions in 2010 and 2011. They recently won the National Championships at Disney World, winning in the Jazz Category. In addition, they’ve won awards for innovative choreography, superior showmanship and technical excellence.

Members:

Kailey Albano, Sophomore
Savannah Barna, Junior
Kimberly Desz, Sophomore
Megan Dibenedetto, Sophomore
Kaylyn Kirschenheiter, Sophomore
Kylie May, Sophomore
Jessica Rakic, Junior
Alexa Soeyadi, Senior
Giuliana Tafuro, Senior