KCHW’s Chewelah’s Got Talent contest met a swashbuckling end on Saturday night at the Chewelah Peak Learning Center as a pirate trio of musicians won first place and brought the house down with a golden performance.
Properly named “Triple Threat” won the $600 first place prize as former champ Skyler and his brother Levi Colvin joined forces with another Chewelah’s Got Talent former champion Shannon McNeil. Skyler had planned on going into this year’s contest with his brother on the piano.
“Shannon gave me a call and I told him I was doing it with my brother and he was fine with that,” Skyler said.
The two champions had known each other for years but had never played music together. The two violin players and pianist practiced their act for four weeks in preparation for the big show. Levi came up with the song – a heavy variation of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” after a suggestion from his piano teacher. All three added pirate-era costumes, a special dueling-violin entrance from behind the crowd and some dancing as well.
“It was a lot of fun being a character,” Skyler said. “It was a lot less nerve-wracking. Last year I did it by myself and this year I could just be the character and play.”
Both Skyler and Levi are from Summit Valley and Skyler has been playing violin for 10 years while Levi has been playing piano for a year and a half. Both are doing running start and have played before at the Colville Fair and in some Bluegrass festivals at granges.
“We’re able to practice about an hour a day on average,” Levi said.
Shannon was born in Chewelah and had recently moved back to town from Lewiston. He has played piano since age 8 and the violin since he was 11. He won the first Chewelah’s Got Talent show in 2013.
“I met [KCHW’s Scott Allen] when I was 13 or 14 at the Farmers Market when he was just getting the idea of Chewelah Community Radio out there,” Shannon said. “It’s so cool how the contest has changed from the first year. The radio station started out very small and has got to this point behind Scott’s hard work and it’s great to see.”
Skyler added that the group hopes to begin playing at events and weddings, people interested can look for their group “Triple Threat” on Facebook.
Chewelah’s Got Talent made the switch this year from the Chewelah Civic Center up to the Chewelah Peak Learning Center. A crowd of 175 people made the drive up the hill to watch the show on Saturday night.
“A new room is always difficult for figuring out seating and sound and we were concerned people wouldn’t want to take the drive but it was definitely all worth it,” Allen said. “I received several comments about how we really added a new level of class to the event.”
Second place and People’s Choice Award went to Rachael and Emma Larsen with the Lindsey Sterling song “Shatter Me.” Third place went to Jessica Cochran and her ballet/hip hop dance routine to the song “One Call Away.”
Along with the award winners, Jayde Briggs and Jayden Ludeman won the award for stage presence with their performance of “The Stepsisters Lament.” Robbie Thompson and Judah Katona won best costume for their classic skit of “Who’s on First.”
The most original act award went to Uriel Crum with his poetry about love. An honorable mention went to Pat Eggleston for his acoustic guitar act.
“The kids are aspiring artists,” Allen said. “Our crew has been able to watch many of the contestants grow as artists. It’s a great feeling to be able to coach and see the results. Many of our contestants over the past four years now get booked on live gigs.”
The judges at the event were Bill Barnes – the GM of the Chewelah Peak Learning Center; Ryan Moore – the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce President, and Edward Jones financial advisor, Schelley Strite – member of the NE Wash. Community Radio Guild; and Doug McQuain – master musician and host of “Dirt Road Blues” on KCHW.
Samantha Schlafman was also a judges’ assistant. Valorie Hunter, Hannah Jones and Darby Doppenburg were members of the stage crew while Jean Jones was the stage manager. Jeff Newman was the 102.7 FM radio broadcasting technician while sound and video was done by Donald Todd Productions.
Concessions were ran by John “Grumpy” Grumbach along with help from Indiana, Gid and Jarrom Jones. Dr. J Scott Kohlstedt ran the front of the house and the voting and KCHW memberships was handled by Banner Bank’s Amanda Carlyle and Shari Katzer. Special Support was provided by Flint Jones and Brad Hunter.
Allen added he’d like to thank Bill Barnes of the Chewelah Peak Learning Center, all the support from The Independent, the volunteer crew and the contestants and audience.
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff