Singing has always come as second nature to New Rochelle resident, Elizabeth Vuksanaj. Known to friends and family as Betsy, this 13 year old is one of 25 finalists in the Westchester Teen Idol Competition, presented by PMT Productions. She and the 24 other finalists were selected from a field of over 120 competitors in October.
Vuksanaj is the youngest competitor, having made it by just turning 13 before the final performance date of November 26, 2011, to be held at the Irvington Town Theater. The age range goes as high as 19, so she is facing stiff competition in more ways than one. But this 13 year old is ready.
Vuksanaj is currently an 8th grader at the Immaculate Conception School in Tuckahoe, NY. She has starred in the school’s musical performances for the past four years, and has held leading roles as Belle in the production of “Disney on Broadway”, and most recently as Kim McAfee in last year’s production of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Musical theater is her passion, and she studies under the vocally talented team of Richard Slade and Cynthia Reynolds.
Unlike most “idol” singing competitions, contestants in Westchester Teen Idol were allowed to audition with pieces from all genres. The finalists will perform a 3-minute number, and then five contestants will be selected from the field to perform an additional 3-minute number before the winner is revealed. There will be three professional judges…among them, Broadway performer Robi Hager. Hager had roles in “Spring Awakening” and was an understudy in the recent Broadway revival of “Bye Bye Birdie”. Among past judges was Westchester native and celebrity teen favorite, Jesse McCartney.
Vuksanaj will be performing in her final year at ICS in the spring production, and also sings in the school choir. She is “very excited to be a part of this competition. It has been a privilege to be selected as a finalist” and she feels “honored to be among such a great group of contestants”.
If you are interested in coming out to see the performance, tickets are only $25, and can be purchased at www.irvingtontheater.com.