Four Students Compete as Finalists at Start the Journey Voice Competition

Allie Schnitzer

Four Greenhill students – senior Ilanna Feldman, junior Erica Fulbright, sophomore Lucas Lopez and sophomore Sanjna Kalisetty – competed among 16 finalists between ages 14-19 in the Start the Journey Youth Voice Competition on Oct. 3.

These students competed for the title of Best Vocalist in one of four music categories: country, pop, rock and urban. The winner of each genre received a cash prize of $250, a recording session at The Cove Studios, a professional recording studio and an opportunity to perform live as an opening act at the Levitt Pavilion Arlington. The overall winner of this competition will receive an additional $500.

Feldman has participated in musical education since the third grade where she participated at the Greenhill choir and said that she “loved every second of it.”

The most defining point in her Greenhill musical career was when she played the lead role in the musical Annie as a sixth grader, Feldman said.

“This was the first time at school that I was truly able to showcase my talents in front of the whole school,” Feldman said.

This time, she chose to sing “The Joke” by Brandi Carlile.

“Carlile is one of my favorite singers as she mixes the singer-songwriter feel with the folk genre,” Feldman said. “Her songs are so much fun to sing and really highlight my voice. This specific song of hers has a very strong message that I would love to promote.”

Kalisetty, who also holds recurring roles in many Greenhill musicals, says that her first musical performance, “The Lion King,” was a personal awakening. She chose to sing “Taylor the Latte Boy” by Kristin Chenoweth at the competition.

“[My goal was] just to have fun and put on a good show for the audience,” Kalisetty said. “If I can make the audience laugh and enjoy themselves, then I have succeeded in my job.”

Another avid performer, Lopez, had the goal to “just entertain people as much as [he could].” Lopez has been singing for as long as he can remember. He sang “Your Man” by Josh Turner, which was the song he was listening to when he received the email about the competition.

“I guess the idea that I was good, it never occurred to me until I was about 13,” Lopez said.

Photo courtesy of Ilanna Feldman