Talent show created as arts showcase

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When Brittany Jackson watched 10-year-old Jackie Evancho win America’s Got Talent last year, she remembered herself at that age and said she wishes she knew then what she knows now.

“That’s kind of how I saw myself at 10 – with a voice like that. I just didn’t know how to unleash it,” said the now-20-year-old Jackson.

After 10 years of singing with the Augusta Children’s Chorale, the Augusta Choral Society and the Augusta Players, and three years of professional voice lessons, she will unleash her voice as a soloist in the CSRA’s Got Talent competition on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“It’s something different than I’ve done before. I thought this would be a way for me to be able to show I can stand alone,” she said.

Jackson is one of 16 contestants chosen from 25 applicants who will participate in the competition, which will be held at North Augusta High School.

The competition is a fundraiser for the Arts and Heritage Center of North Augusta. One of the goals of the center is to promote arts in the community, and CSRA’s Got Talent is one way to promote the performing arts, said center director Lauren Virgo.

Contestants range in age from an 8-year-old to a grandmother, she said.

The types of acts will be just as varied. Musicians will sing or play everything from Adele to Bach, there is at least one spoken word performance, and one hula hoop act.

“It should be an all-around neat event,” Virgo said. “It’s going to be kind of poppy, modern and very relatable to the audience.”

Audience members can purchase votes for $1, and then cast their vote after the show by placing their ballot into their favorite contestant’s box. Audience votes, combined with those of the judges, will determine the winner.

“It’s really a way for the audience to interact with the event,” Virgo said. “We wanted it to have the same feel as America’s Got Talent.”

CSRA’s Got Talent is similar to the popular North Augusta Idol, which is presented each spring by the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council and is limited to North Augusta students. It is open to anyone within the Aiken-Augusta area and to a wider age group.

Courtney Turner, Miss South Carolina USA and a graduate of North Augusta High School, is one of the judges, and WRDW’s Richard Rogers is the emcee.

Virgo said she hopes the community will embrace this competition.

“We really hope that this will be an event the community will support and expect each year, and (will) grow in scale and scope,” she said.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: CSRA’s Got Talent – a talent revue and competition

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 5, doors open 6 p.m., show 7 p.m.

WHERE: North Augusta High School auditorium, 2000 Knobcone Ave.

TICKETS: $10 adults; $5 ages 10 and younger; audience votes $1, cash or check; benefits Arts and Heritage Center; (803) 441-4380, artsandheritagecenter.com

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