When the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) opens in Vancouver this Saturday, Aug. 16, many excited performers will compete in the Star Showdown, an amateur talent competition of all kinds — dancers, singers, musicians and comedians.
Among them will be Sechelt’s Robyn Edgar, a semi-finalist in the youth category of performers who will sing this Sunday, Aug. 17, at the Chevrolet Performance Stage.
The 18-year-old, who is in her grad year at Chat-elech Secondary School, comes by her talent honestly. Her mother, Karen Edgar, is a vocal and piano teacher who sings with JavaJazz. Robyn has also been coached by a local nurturer of youthful talent, Nikki Weber.
“Nikki helped me find my passion for jazz,” Robyn said, “and a deep love of music.” She has also played piano for as long as she can remember, but on her audition tape she is happy to have had Miles Black on the piano plus other local talent, Barry Taylor on drums and Boyd Norman on bass.
She will be singing her winning song that put her in the semi-finals, You’ll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini), a tune from one of her favourite performers, Nikki Yanofsky. It’s a difficult song, Robyn said: jazzy with many changes of tempo and some scat singing.
For Sunday’s performance she will be accompanied by another piano master. “My buddy Michael Creber is going to play for me,” she said.
Although jazz is tops right now, Robyn is a fan of any music. She’s performed pop at local coffee houses and played piano, ukulele or flute. In a recent local competition, Sechelt’s Got Talent, she tied for first place and received even more encouragement from her mentors to try out for the PNE.
She will attend Selkirk College in Nelson after she graduates where she will take vocal performance and song-writing. She was also accepted into the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, but will defer enrollment for now.
Hosted by Denai Johnson from The Beat 94.5, the PNE talent shows are a crowd favourite that bring out the best of B.C.’s amateur talent. The top three performers from each day of competition will advance to the all-ages final on Aug. 20. Big prizes are offered — $10,000 in overall prizes to be won in addition to $22,500 in New Image College Scholarships.
For more about Star Showdown dates and times, see www.pne.ca
See Robyn’s audition video at this link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlMM4s2lz2o&list=UUf2HkuvmhKgDjekP8AFPq_A
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