Singers Rule the Evening During 'Menifee's Got Talent' Contest

Top performers in "Menifee's Got Talent" were (from left) Anchana Sangar (third place...

Top performers in "Menifee's Got Talent" were (from left) Anchana Sangar (third place), Chy'Anne Smock (second) and Nicole Farrell (first).
Artists and fans of all ages turned out for the third annual "Menifee’s Got Talent" showcase, sponsored by Arts Council Menifee Saturday at the Kay Ceniceros Senior Center.

Packed into the center’s multi-purpose meeting room, patrons and supporters were treated to just over two hours of singing, dancing and instrumental numbers. Ranging in age from 11 years old to 50+, contestants represented a full spectrum of experience.

Edie Schmoll, a longtime piano teacher, stunned the audience when she performed “Waterfront Jazz” blindfolded! Later in the program, Sabrina Lee, one of Schmoll’s students, performed “The Entertainer” and “The Maiden’s Prayer” – though she kept both eyes firmly focused on her music sheet.

In a last-minute program change, high schoolers Kimberly Beth and Adam Charron performed “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran, followed by an original song titled “No Love In Your Eyes.” The second entry, which highlighted Beth’s haunting vocal style and Charron’s crisp acoustic guitar sound, was the only original content entered into this year’s event.

Indeed, cover songs ruled the evening: Nicole Farrell, a familiar face among Menifee’s non-profit and business organizations, gave a charming turn of the French classic “La Vie en Rose” on the way to winning the contest. Amazing the judges by singing entirely in perfect French, the Quebec native further enamored herself of the audience by handing out roses to several guests during her performance.

Middle schooler Anchana Sangar performed Rihanna’s “Stay,” singing and playing the music on the piano, and was a hit among the show’s younger guests. During the judge’s commentary, emcee Bill Zimmerman encouraged Sangar to give a repeat performance of her audition piece, a musical number she sang to the beat of a cup, appropriately entitled “The Cup Song.”

But the evening was stolen by vocalist Chy’Anne Smock, whose personal story was made all the more compelling by her musical talent. Smock’s performance of “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” from Broadway’s "Phantom of the Opera" was prefaced by Zimmerman’s recounting of her struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome and how music helped her to cope.

Smock, 19, is a student at Mt. San Jacinto College. It came as no surprise to the judges or audience when Smock stated her intentions to pursue a career in musical theater.

The top three performers, as determined by the judges, received prizes that included gift cards to area businesses. Additionally, the first-place winner has been invited to return as a judge for next year’s event. This year’s winners are:

Third Place: Archana Sangar
Second Place: Chy’Anne Smock
Grand Prize: Nicole Farrell

Some of the contestants in "Menifee's Got Talent" take a bow, with emcee Bill Zimmerman behind them on the stage.


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