On January 16, forty-two metro area high school acts competed in the semi-final round of the 12th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The acts were divided into four categories (vocal, instrumental, dance and specialty) and adjudicated by fifteen St. Louis performing arts professionals, each representing the respective categories. The judges narrowed the field to 14 acts (18 students) who will move on to the finals at the Fabulous Fox Theatre on Friday, February 11 at 8 pm.
The final competition is a professionally produced production the Foundation is grateful to provide as a gift to the community that is FREE and open to the public. General Admission tickets are required and will be available at no charge through Metrotix online at metrotix.com. Finalists include a variety of singers, musicians, dancers, and acrobats (a list of acts can be found here).
“We couldn’t be happier with the level of talent. The students seem to get better and better each year,” exclaimed Mary Strauss, Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation Board President.
In addition to the excitement of performing on the Fox Stage, contestants are eligible to win scholarships, prizes, and performance opportunities. Nearly $50,000 in prizes, cash awards and college scholarships will be distributed among the top competitors. A full list of prizes along with official event information can be found on the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s (FPACF) website.
The Finals production will be written and directed by St. Louis native Tony Parise, Broadway actor, dancer, director, choreographer. Parise will work with choreographer Yvonne Meyer Hare and music director Steve Neale to prepare performers for the Fox Stage.
“I am so grateful to the entire Teen Talent team for keeping the competition going through the pandemic and giving our talented teens this incredible experience. We have learned a lot over the past two years, but this year we will get back to the spectacular live event. I can’t wait to feel that magical energy once again at the Fabulous Fox!” stated Parise.
Finalist acts will be judged on technical ability, interpretation, stage presence, and originality. Judges for the finals have careers spanning music, dance, and Broadway. A complete list of final round judges is available on the FoxPACF website.
The community response to this event has been significant as the program has grown over the past twelve years. Annually 120,000+ viewers have watched the Nine PBS featured program on the final competition. Due to the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021 the final competition was filmed in front of a limited audience for a special broadcast on Nine PBS. FoxPACF is grateful for the continued partnership with Nine PBS, which will film the 2022 Finals in front of a full live audience for a special broadcast to air later this spring.
The 2021 winner was Troy Staten, a singer from McCluer High School who will return this year for a special performance. A complete list of winners and finalists from the past eleven years can be found on the FoxPACF website.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat daily newspaper. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association.