Published June 24th, 2009
Orinda Idol Auditions Huge Success
By Jennifer Wake
After much preparation, more than 200 hopeful young performing artists, ranging in age from 5 to 18, came to the Orinda Idol 2009 Auditions at the Orinda Theatre on May 29 and 30 in hopes of becoming an Orinda Idol finalist. Forty-six finalists were selected in six groups, according to Orinda Idol chair Steve Harwood.
"The quality of all of those auditioning was very high," Harwood said. "But quite aside from the quality, how wonderful were these young people. Each of them had to put themselves on the line by deciding to audition. They had to memorize their song and work on their presentation, and then come into an empty room and give it their all before a panel of three judges. Each of them was energetic and enthusiastic. Personally, I was inspired."
President of an investment company by day, Harwood is a lifelong singer who currently sings with the Blackhawk Chorus, and who has written and directed musicals for Sleepy Hollow School. He and the other judges (Ralph Severson, Sue Farmer and Daphne Stoermer) invited finalists and runners-up to return for a feedback session a few days after the event.
"Most took advantage of the opportunity and appeared again with enthusiasm, and listened intently to the comments of the judges," Harwood said. "It would have been nice to give each of those audition feedback, but as it was, the feedback session lasted three hours."
In an email to all who auditioned, Harwood wrote: "If you can do this, you can do anything."
He added, "I think that might be rephrased to: 'If you can do this, why should you be phased by any of the challenges in your life?'"
The Orinda Idol 2009 Finals is scheduled for Sept. 13 at the Orinda Theatre. For more information, visit the Orinda Idol Web page at: http:/
Orinda Idol 2009 Finalists
Niamh Akazawa
Layla Wright
Sleepy Hollow:
Malin Glade
Dylan Smith
Wagner Ranch:
Alex Meckes

Del Rey:
Tessa Viola
Joe Metheny
Mary Rockwood
Michael Sorenson
Lara Waibel
Sleepy Hollow:
Ryan Ford
Ellie Glade
Kate Marvin
Saklan Valley:
Amanda Bosovo
Wagner Ranch:
Eleanor Roeder

Orinda Intermediate School:
Sophie Belinn
Maritza Grillo
Tosca Maltzman
Sarah McCaffrey
Sean McFeely
Julia Meckes
Emily Mikes
Amrita Newton
Emma Patton
Stephanie Sloves

College Preparatory School:
Matthew Barber
T.J. Barber
Erika Henningsen
Tatyana Belinsky
Elizabeth De Luna
Lindsay Ford
Jacqueline Garell
Neris Newton
Steven Patton
Ilene Rosas

Quartet 1: Sofia Kavanaugh, Lauren Bond, Kate Partington & Beth Huelsenbeck
Trio 1: Wylie Hughs, Joe Metheny & Michael Sorenson
Happy Valley:
Duet 2: Samantha Martin & Isabel Mueller
Sleepy Hollow:
Duet 1: Malin Glade & Ellie Glade
Duet 3: Jocelyn Purcell & Casey McGonigle

Duet 3: Kate Avery & Audrey Vogel
Glorietta & Miramonte:
Duet 1: Jackie Patton & Steven Patton
Orinda Intermediate School:
Trio 1: Haley Reardon, Stephanie Sloves & Maddie Wheeler
Trio 2: Emily Fuhriman, Isabelle Johannessen & Tosca Maltzman
Orinda Intermediate School & Miramonte:
Trio 3: Amrita Newton, Jacqueline Garell, Neris Newton
Sleepy Hollow & Orinda Intermediate School:
Duet 2: Aaron Baum & Nathan Baum
* order by age of youngest group member

GRADES K-2: Julia Bond-Glorietta
GRADES 3-5: 1st Leah Woodcox-Wagner Ranch, 2nd Aaron Baum-Sleepy Hollow
MIDDLE SCHOOL:1st Isabelle Johannessen-OIS, 2nd Connor Holton-OIS
HIGH SCHOOL: 1st Melanie Jones-Miramonte, 2nd Sofie Woodlee-Miramonte
GROUP CATEGORY K-5: 1st Grace Baer & Ophelia Luchin-Happy Valley, 2nd Elizabeth & Emily Fabian-Sleepy Hollow
GROUP CATEGORY 6-12: Tara Bagdassarian-Miramonte, Melanie Jones-Miramonte, Katie Marino-Campolindo & Sophie Woodlee-Miramonte
**Runner-Ups serve as alternates in their grade group for finalists who choose not to compete September 13, 2009.

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