BY DIANE A. RHODES
Twelve finalists are out to prove the Pass Has Talent as they compete at the Stagecoach Days on Saturday in Banning.
The acts will take the main stage at A/C Dysart Park at 5 p.m.
Much like ‘America's Got Talent’ television show, performers are pitted against each other, regardless of age or type of act. Seven-old-year dancer Sophia Partain will compete against retiree Zelyne Rudolph, lead singer for Nu Beginnings jazz band.
‘I'm very eclectic in what I do musically,’ said Rudolph, of Beaumont. She said she was singing solo for the past four years but put a band together a couple of months ago for another local entertainment event.
She is joined by bass player Gerald Gaines and keyboardist Didi Jackson and will be honoring '50s musician Manny Lopez, known as the ‘King of the Cha Cha Cha,’ who helped the band with the song they will perform at the finals.
Sophia has been dancing for the past four years at Dance Spectrum in Beaumont. Michelle Partain said her daughter has learned a variety of styles including ballet, jazz and hip-hop. She is also part of the center's gymnastics program.
Contributed ImageJazz group Nu Beginnings is among the 12 finalists for this year's Pass Has Talent who will take the stage at Stagecoach Days in Banning on Saturday.
‘I'm really proud of her because I was so shy as a kid and she goes out and dances at senior centers and other places in the community — she loves it,’ Partain said.
Sophia is performing solo for the first time but has been having lots of fun. Her best friend, Allison Ogden, also will be competing in the finals Saturday.
‘I think she's enjoying all the little extra things that go along with being part of this show,’ Partain said. ‘She gets to ride in the (Stagecoach Days) parade.’
Pianist Ryan Lu, 14, will play ‘Moonlight Sonata,’ the selection that took him from being a semi-finalist to a finalist.
‘I play about one to two hours each day,’ said Ryan, of Moreno Valley. He has been playing classical and jazz piano for about six years and also plays guitar.
Saturday's winner will receive $500, the first runner-up will get $100 and the second runner-up will get $50. Each one will also be presented with an engraved photo frame to commemorate their participation.
The competition, in its third year, was started by the Banning Cultural Alliance and is sponsored by the city of Banning, Bank of America and Bank of Hemet. Tryout rounds began Aug. 5.
Dr. Lynne Kennedy, superintendent of Banning Unified School District, will serve as the emcee for the contest.
Other finalists are vocalists Krystine Harrison, Ulises Espinoza, Chy'anne Smock, Tony Shone and Earl Dyches, who will sing and play the guitar. Joe Aceto will perform a classical song on his guitar and Ryan Odle will play the piano. Misty Murphy will dance.
Pass Has Talent
The finals take place during this weekend’s Stagecoach Days festival in Banning.
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Main stage at A/C Dysart Park, 22nd Street and Victory Avenue, Banning
Event information: www.stagecoachdays.net
Cultural Alliance information: 951-538-3735, www.banningculturalalliance.org