Four Nazareth Area High School students -- all members of the 2012 Freddy-nominated "Singin' in the Rain" -- participated in the High School Vocal Competition & Spotlight Cabaret Thursday night at Allentown Brew Works.
In all, 11 contestants took to the stage for two coveted scholarship packages worth more than $550 each. And Nazareth students won both.
Due to a tie, Vanessa Ruggiero, who just finished her junior year at Nazareth, was forced into a sing-off with Salisbury High School junior Alan Mendez. In the end, Ruggiero won the 2012 Junior Vocal Champion Scholarship with her performance of "The Girl in 14G," written by Jeanine Tesori.
Ryan Skerchak, a 2012 graduate of Nazareth, won the 2012 Senior Vocal Champion Scholarship with his rendition of "Papa Can You Hear Me" from "Yentl," made famous by Barbra Streisand. Skerchak plans to attend Marymount Manhattan College in the fall for theater.
Both Ruggiero and Skerchak -- and four other competitors -- study with voice coach Rebecca Pieper-Bohun, who has a studio in Nazareth.
The competition and cabaret featured high school vocalists, spotlight cabaret feature performers, three talented judges, and more than $1,000 in cash and prizes.
Each contestant competed for a cash scholarship and other assorted prizes, including acting lessons at the Civic Theatre, Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs tickets, professional headshots, tickets to see RENT, and various gift certificates.
The Nazareth Area High School performers were:
Vanessa Ruggiero: A 2012 Freddy Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Featured Dancer in "Singin' in the Rain," Ruggiero previously lived in England and trained at the Royal Academy of Ballet. She just finished her junior year at Nazareth Area High School. Ruggiero is active in the theater troupe, dance and Noteworthy. Most recently she wrapped up a production of "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at the Pennsylvania Playhouse. She hopes to one day start her own theater company.
Ryan Skerchak: A 2012 Freddy Award nominee for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in "Singin' in the Rain," Skerchak graduated from Nazareth Area High School on Monday, June 4. He has been cast in more than 20 regional productions and is a member of "The Dream Kids."
Arissa Lahr: Lahr, who just finished her junior year at Nazareth Area High School, is involved in musical theater and community service. This summer, she will travel to Ethiopia for volunteer work. When she heads off to college, Lahr plans to major in International Studies.
Emma Parrish: A top-25 student at Nazareth Area High School, Parrish is involved in theater, chorale, French Club and junior executive council. When not in school, she participates in a church youth group, Girl Scouts and a youth choir. Parrish was previously cast in "All Shook Up" at the Pennsylvania Playhouse.
11th Annual Spring Recital
If you missed Thursday's performances, Pieper-Bohun's students from her studio, The Musik Makers, will perform tomorrow -- Saturday, June 8 -- in Peter Hall at Moravian College's South Campus, also known as the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus.
The 11th Annual Spring Recital will start at 2 p.m.
There is no admission fee, only a goodwill offering to benefit Hope for Holly.