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A good night for singing

17 students face off for Beaverton Teen Idol finals


The Beaverton Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board and Portland Teen Idol will host the second annual “Beaverton Teen Idol” finale on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Southridge High School Auditorium, 9625 S.W. 125th Ave.

Tickets for the event will be on sale at the entrance for $5, with all proceeds going to benefit HomePlate Youth Services, an organization dedicated to help combat youth homelessness.

About 80 people turned up on April 19 at the Beaverton City Library Auditorium to hear Beaverton-area middle and high school students belt out or croon their favorite tunes to Karaoke-like backing tracks. Judges thinned the herd down to 17 finalists. The event raised about $800 in two hours.

All students in the Beaverton School District, this year’s finalists include Brooklyn Atack, Kelsey Bentz, Brianna Braukmann, Tristan Herrera, Dana Hicks, Savannah Neda Panah, Kaiya Shanti Pelletier, Jesse Rosario and Jahlett Alofamoni Tofi. Atack, Bentz, Braukmann and Herrera are Westview High School students, Panah attends the Arts and Communication Magnet Academy, Pelletier is a Sunset High School student and Tofi attends Whitford Middle School.

Each contestant will sing two songs for 90 to 120 seconds each. There will also be a special performance by last year’s finalists, Jessica and Michelle Maddox, both Westview students. Judges include Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, Newberg High School music teacher Chris Benjamin and Jay Fraley, a professional singer and teacher.

The winner, who will be announced at the conclusion of the event, will go on to participate in Portland Teen Idol this summer.

“After a cutthroat semi-finals round, only nine talented singers remain in the competition,” noted Westview High Senior Geetha Somayajula, the student-run event’s founder. “It’s going to be a great night of music for a worthy cause.”

Noting the district has more than 1,300 documented homeless students, Somayajula called the event a “wonderful way to spend a Friday night.”

“Attending the event and raising funds for HomePlate is an awesome way to support homeless students,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to support young performers in Beaverton.”

The enthusiastic response to the event shows the level of talent and civic engagement prevalent in Beaverton.

“It’s heartwarming to see our community offer such generous support,” Doyle said. “This event helps support homeless youth, and I’m happy we could host the event once again this year. The proceeds will enable HomePlate to continue the tremendous work they do to help vulnerable youth in our community.”

The advisory board, which is seeking prize donations and sponsorships to help garner additional funds, has raised $750 for homeless youth to date.

For more information about HomePlate Youth Services, visit HomePlateYouth.org.

For more information about Beaverton Teen Idol, visit BeavertonTeenIdol.org.