In the community

22nd annual Vale talent show a success

Isabella Movaga is all smiles as she wins the first-place trophy in the 4 to 11 age group for her singing performance. (Max Egener/The Enterprise)

VALE — Skill, creativity, and bravery were on full display at the “Shining Stars” talent show last Thursday night.

Thirty parents, siblings, and friends sat in the lower-level seats of the Rex Theater to watch 26 contestants sing, dance, play instruments, and read poetry.

It was the 22nd annual Drexel H. Foundation talent show.

Participants were divided into four age groups — 4 to 11, 12 to 14, 15 to 19, and 20 and up — with the majority of acts in the youngest group. There was a first, second, and third-place trophy for each age group and a $100 cash prize for the first-place winner. Each participant received a grocery bag full of prizes.

Young performers worked up the courage to look into the bright stage lights and show their friends and families their artistry. Many of them took the stage multiple times to perform different acts with friends.

Viewers ate popcorn, drank soda, clapped along with songs, and fanned themselves with show programs as relief from 100-degree heat outside.

The theater — originally built in 1915 — bore signs of its age. But the show’s organizers arranged lights to emphasize acts in front of the crimson curtain backdrop.

Performers waited patiently on stage for their songs to play during occasional audio technical difficulties.

The first-place winner of the 12 to 14 age group, Ella Draper, 13, wasn’t new to the competition. She has performed in the talent show for the last four years and won first-place the last two years.

Ella Draper sings and plays the piano, taking first-place in the 12 to 14 age group. (Max Egener/The Enterprise)

Draper played piano with expertise and sang “Never Enough” from the 2017 musical lm, “The Greatest Showman.” She said she owns a copy of the movie and has watched it five times.

“The song really inspired me,” Draper said. “It’s longing, and I felt like it needed to be out there.”

She has been playing piano for six years. She said she was “a little” nervous to perform, but that she practiced enough times that her nerves didn’t affect her performance.

Draper plans to have a recital at Treasure Valley Community College this fall. She said she used the talent show as practice for that performance.

It was a family event for the Drapers. Ella’s older sister, Sophie, and younger sister, Sylvia, took home the first-place trophy in the 15 to 19 age group after performing “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” Sylvia, dressed in a blue plaid dress and red shoes, sang while Sophie played piano.

“It’s a fabulous event,” said Sandijean Fuson, foundation president and emcee for the night.

She said the event embodies the foundation’s motto: “Of your own personal strength, you can accomplish anything.”

“We want to show everyone that if you participate, there’s a lot you can get out of life,” Fuson said.