GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Two contestants will play handmade mandolins together. Another pair of contenders will move as one in an interpretive ballet arrangement.
All 15 Stars of Tomorrow finalists will be stars in their own right.
The annual Kiwanis Stars of Tomorrow returns to Glenwood Springs High School’s Jeannie Miller Theatre today at 7 p.m. The youth-powered show includes high school students performing a range of talents, from mandolin picking by Zachary Baker and Miles Petterson of Fresh Cut to power ballet dancing by Mackenzie Heard and Kyle Lacroix.
“I think what we’re excited about is each year we’ve seemed to broaden the talent pool,” said Clayton Collier, Stars of Tomorrow committee chair. “This year will be better than last year, and next year will be better than this year. It always gets better and better.”
Collier said since the mid-’60s, the Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club has provided the stage for the Roaring Fork Valley’s youth to showcase their talents. He said music teacher Lorie Beattie Courier won the first Stars of Tomorrow talent show, which continues to be a coveted honor for young entertainers valleywide.
“I have a soft spot in my heart for this show,” Collier said. “It has given a lot of kids a lot of confidence over the years.”
The Stars of Tomorrow talent show features longtime emcee Bob Willey, a former Glenwood Springs High School counselor and actor in the Defiance Community Players theatre group.
“Bob has been the emcee for this event for 20 years, and we’re always glad he’s back,” Collier said.
Collier said the Stars of Tomorrow also has returning participants in the show, which will award the first place winner with a $1,000 Kiwanis scholarship.
“Michael Schied will be playing ragtime piano,” he said “He was a performer last year with a quartet of guys singing.”
Ellie Tomasso, a member of the Glenwood Springs Center of the Arts’ advanced dance company, is also a returning contestant in Stars of Tomorrow. She played the grandmother in the Symphony in the Valley’s live performances of Sergei Prokofiev’s musical classic “Peter and the Wolf” last fall in Glenwood Springs and Rifle.
“Stars of Tomorrow is a big deal for the kids,” Collier said. “They have to work very hard and practice for this.”
Heather Porterfield, of the well-known Porterfield family of the valley, will also sing and dance in tonight’s Stars of Tomorrow show.
“Heather is from the talented Porterfield family,” Collier said. “I don’t think they can eat dinner if they’re not performing somewhere — and that’s a compliment.”
Collier said students from Yampah Mountain, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, and Glenwood, Carbondale, Basalt and Rifle high schools comprise the 15 finalists vying for the $1,000 scholarship prize. The talent show will also include a nonjudged portion allowing younger students to take the stage and share their talents.
“Hopefully they will come back when they are in that ninth-grade to senior age range,” Collier said.
Stars of Tomorrow will also include live music by the GSHS percussion ensemble. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, $25 for families of 4 or more and are available at the door.