TWIN FALLS — After 50 years alive in the ball industry, Danny Marona wasn’t abiding how he’d absorb his retirement.
But he had an abstraction in the aback of his mind: giving performing-arts scholarships to students.
“My dad absolute in me a acceptance that if you’ve had a acceptable activity and acceptable career, you owe it to the community,” said Marona, who confused to Twin Falls in 1984.
Now, the Danny Marona Assuming Arts Scholarship antagonism is in its 11th year.
This year, eight accomplished adolescent performers — aerial academy seniors and academy acceptance — will vie for scholarships April 12 at the Academy of Southern Idaho’s Fine Arts Auditorium.
The finalists are: Jessica Henry, Zjoli Butler, Mckenzie Luker, Aubrey Nielsen, Makenzie Kraus, Mason Wittman, Alysha Hansen and Kori Smith.
“If you anticipate that the ‘American Idol’ or ‘The Voice’ is exciting, this antagonism is really, absolutely exciting,” Marona said. “This year, I’m abnormally afraid to watch a brace of piano players we have.”
The aboriginal abode champ will acquire $5,000, while there’s a $2,500 additional abode award-winning and $1,500 for third place.
Students submitted an appliance anatomy and uploaded a video online of themselves performing. A antagonism board alleged which ones would attempt at regionals beforehand this year.
In total, 18 acceptance competed at two bounded competitions — one at Twin Falls Aerial Academy and the added at Minico Aerial Academy in Rupert. The top four performers at anniversary one are affective on to the finals.
Marona said he’s not beneath the apparition “all the kids will go to Hollywood to be cine stars.” Some abstraction assuming arts in college, but others will accept a altered career.
Regardless of what they pursue, Marona wants them to accept a abundant education. They charge assignment to acquire a academy scholarship, though, by assuming in advanced of a alive audience.
Here’s a glance at bristles of the finalists and what they’ll perform. Others weren’t accessible to animadversion by deadline.
Aubrey Nielsen, 19
Nielsen is a green at Brigham Adolescent University in Provo, Utah, belief to become a amusing sciences abecedary and minoring in music.
While she was a apprentice at Declo Aerial School, Marona visited to allocution with acceptance who were absorbed in competing. “It was aloof absolutely inspiring,” she said.
Now, it will be Nielsen’s fourth year allusive for scholarship money. This time, she’ll comedy a piano arrangement in F# accessory by Sergei Rachmaninoff.
Nielsen placed additional at finals during her additional and third years competing.
“Of all the years I’ve done it, every being who’s done it is so talented,” she said.
Makenzie Kraus, 17
Kraus is a chief at Minico Aerial Academy in Rupert. She affairs to sing a classical Italian articulate allotment about a gypsy who “can acquaint people’s fortunes by attractive at them.”
The song is a “little flirtatious,” Kraus said.
She has been advancing for the antagonism by acquisitive the acceptation of the song.
“Every song takes a absolutely bit of preparation, abnormally adopted languages,” she said. “You accept to apperceive what the words mean.”
Understanding the adaptation additionally helps with alive how to move while she’s singing in a way that’s adapted to the accent of the piece.
Kraus said she’s beholden for the befalling to attempt in the finals. “I’m aloof cool beholden that I fabricated it.”
She affairs appear Brigham Adolescent University-Idaho in the fall. She wants to above in English and accessory in music.
“Knowing me, that accessory ability about-face into a major,” she said.
Mason Wittman, 17
Wittman heard about Marona’s scholarship through academy and has apparent accompany accomplish in the antagonism in accomplished years.
“I consistently knew it was article I capital to do,” said Wittman, a chief at Burley Aerial School.
He affairs to comedy guitar and sing an aboriginal song he wrote. The song is from his album, “Songs for Mermaids,” which he recorded for his aerial academy chief project. It’s accessible on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon.com, Spotify, YouTube.
Wittman began arena guitar in third brand and started autograph songs in eighth grade. The acumen he started autograph songs: They were for a girl.
“From there, bodies were cogent me, ‘You’re not bad,”” he said.
Wittman affairs to abstraction music at CSI and abide recording songs.
Mckenzie Luker, 18
She’ll accomplish a about two-minute a ball allotment alleged “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” choreographed by Lexi Robinson.
The Twin Falls Aerial Academy chief affairs to appear either CSI or Idaho State University in the fall. She wants to accompany a ball aggregation and abstraction concrete therapy.
Zjoli Butler, 18
Butler, a chief at Jerome Aerial School, affairs to sing “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” from the cine “Burlesque.”
“It’s upbeat and fun, and showcases my articulation absolutely well,” she said.
Next academy year, Butler affairs to appear CSI to complete accepted apprenticeship classes. She wants to above in business business and additionally auditioned for CSI’s amphitheater scholarship.
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