Ten singers will take the stage Saturday night for the Durango Voice finals. They have spent the past month in vocal training with judges/coaches Linda Mack Berven, Andreas Tischhauser, Drea Pressly and Bailey Barnes-Fagg.
The competition is similar to the television show “The Voice,” where contestants perform in a blind audition. The four judges sat with their backs to the singers and turned their chairs around when their interest in a performer was piqued. During the auditions, the singers were reduced to 10 finalists.
Durango Voice is a fundraiser for Manna soup kitchen is now in its fourth year. Last year, the event raised $9,000, said Elaine Chick, producer of the show.
Here are this year’s finalists:
Lu Carter began singing with her father when she was young. “We shared this love of music, singing and writing together,” she said in her show bio. This is her first time performing in the Voice finals, and with her coach Barnes-Fagg, “I learned how to honor my voice. It’s absolutely been the best experience I could hope for working with her.” For her performance Saturday, “I’m hoping it’s going to be breathtaking. I’m bringing all of me; I’m bringing the whole package.”
Rebekah DeLaMare has been singing since was a little girl. According to her show bio, she would watch Danny Kaye, Bing Crosby and Shirley Temple singing and dancing and think, “That’s what I want to do!” This is her second year in Durango Voice. Her coach was Pressly, from whom she learned better breathing techniques, “which was very helpful,” she said. For her final Voice performance, DeLaMare said to expect something “dark and sultry.”
Charlotte Emm has been singing since elementary school. Her dream is to spend her days on the river and her nights playing river songs by the campfire with friends, according to her show bio. This is her first time in the competition, and her coach Mack Berven taught her, “The most important thing is to let the music sing you,’ she said. Emm said her performance will be “really simple, not showy whatsoever. I’m doing a song that will really show off my voice. I’m super-excited.”
Eighth-grader Macie Fogel says she has been singing since she was able to talk. She was a finalist in the 2018 Durango Voice competition, and according to her show bio, since last year, she has been teaching herself to play piano, writing and composing her own music and performing for various school events. her vocal coach this year was Tischhauser, from whom she said she learned a lot. Heading into the finals, Macie said she’s ready to perform. “I’m really nervous, but it’s going to be fun,” she said.
Rayne Grant has been singing since she was a young girl. At the age of 18, Grant bought herself a guitar and started writing songs, performing at local open mics in the Durango and Telluride areas. She’s also a filmmaker, videographer, musician, artist and photographer. This is her first time in Durango Voice. Mack Berven was her coach. “We’ve been working on my soprano voice,” Grant said, adding that for the show, “expect your heartstrings to be pulled. I think this is going to be great; it’s for a good cause.”
Zada has been performing, in some capacity, since the age of 3. Currently, she enjoys performing in local theatrical productions at the Durango Arts Center, is in her school’s choir program, takes weekly dance classes. She has also appeared in several independent films. Zada also appeared in the Netflix show “Longmire.” Singing, acting and dancing are Zada’s top passions in life. This is her first year in Durango Voice. She’s spent the last month being coached by Pressly. “I’m very excited” for the finals, she said.
Mark Palmer has been singing since he was in high school, and with 20 years under his belt, he enjoys singing rock, and bringing stories to life from the songs of musical theater. This is his second year competing in Durango Voice, and laso his second year with coach Tischhauser, who took him out of his comfort zone, he said. For the finals, palmer said to expect “some serious Broadway. Some loud, serious, sad, bombastic Broadway.”
Kelsey Marie Pinter
Kelsey Marie Pinter grew up in a musical family, and she has been singing ever since she can remember. This is her first time in the Durango Voice. Her coach was Barnes-Fagg, who “has been amazing. She’s definitely been helping me a lot with breath and support and where to place notes. And trying to get me out of my comfort zone a little bit,’ she said. For the finals, she’s “planning on bringing my A-game. And hopefully just nailing it.”
Naima van Tyn
High school freshman Naima van Tyn has been singing and playing music since she was 6 years old. A student at Stillwater Music, she has also been performing for a long time. This is her first year in the Durango Voice. Her coach was Mack Berven. “I’ve learned a lot about putting emotion into songs, which has been super-helpful because I’ve never really had to do that before,” she said, adding that for the upcoming performance, “I’m nervous but excited because it’s never been just me on a stage – I’ve always been with a band.”
Thirteen-year-old Zoey Zwisler has been singing as long as she can remember. According to her show bio, she likes a wide variety of music but favors folk music, along with show tunes. She loves playing both her guitar and ukulele any chance she gets. This is her first year competing in Durango Voice.
She has spent the past month studying with coach Barnes-Fagg. “She’s been absolutely amazing. I’ve learned a lot,” she said.