Twelve Contestants to Perform in Barrow-Civic Theatre’s Celebration of Talent on Saturday

| February 8, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – Twelve contestants will perform in Barrow-Civic Theatre’s Celebration of Talent on Saturday, February 9.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m.

Performers ranging from dancers to musicians to magicians will compete for over $1,000.00 in cash and prizes.

“Celebration of Talent,” presented by the Barrow-Civic Theatre and Franklin Rotary Club, received over 20 applications and audition video and 12 were selected to participate in Saturday night’s event.

The event will begin with the twelve contestants performing in the first round.

Through audience vote, five will move on to perform again in the final round. Winners will be decided by final audience vote and announced at the end of the show. First place wins $500.00 cash, second place wins $300.00, and third, fourth, and fifth places win $100.00 Franklin Retail & Business Association gift certificates.

Ashlynne and Kellisa

Ashlynne Cornmesser, 17, was born and raised in Franklin. She is a self-taught singer, guitarist, and writer who aspires to one day do music as her job. She currently leads a youth worship team at Galloway United Methodist and recently did a series of spoken word poems there for the advent season. She also enjoys playing the piano and going on adventures with her friends and family. She hopes to continue her musical career after her high-school career comes to an end. She would also like to express her gratitude to all of the family and friends that have helped her get this far.

Kellisa Martz is a 16-year-old Franklin resident who moved to the area last year. She has been passionate about music from an early age. Kellisa played trumpet in concert and marching band at her previous school district and currently plays trumpet with the Franklin Silver Cornet Band. Additionally, she volunteers her time as an alto and pianist in the Galloway United Methodist Youth Worship Team. Kellisa also enjoys playing the guitar, spending time with her family, and exploring the outdoors. She hopes to continue her study of music throughout her high-school career and remain involved in her communities’ musical activities.

Trista Armstrong

Trista is a dancer from Apollo, Pa. Specializing in ballet, she dances the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and T.H.E. Dance Place. She loves to practice and perform dance and finds it very rewarding. Trista was previously a contestant in Celebration of Talent in 2017.

Ashleigh Bennett

Ashleigh is a singer-songwriter based in Franklin. She has been on stage sharing her music for as long as she could remember, beginning with singing and adding piano, guitar, and ukulele to her arsenal through the years. The last few years of her career have been spent focusing on her original music. She writes relatable, transparent songs about life, love, and personal growth that are all heavily influenced by her faith.

Ian Best

Ian, a singer from Seneca, is 20 years old. He has been in countless shows at the Barrow, along with four others at Cranberry High School. Aside from singing, he also enjoys spending time with his friends and family, along with doing stand up comedy from time to time.

Chris Brunsgaard

Chris is a high school student from Slippery Rock who specializes in close-up card magic. He was inspired to begin learning this art from watching Shin Lim on AGT. When not entertaining, he competes on his high school swim team and youth triathlon at the National level.

Tim Craver

Tim is from a little PA town called Manchester. A singer who’s “a little bit country, a little bit rock n’ roll”, he is completely self-taught. Before performing in Franklin’s Taste of Talent series and as a previous Celebration of Talent contestant, Tim had not had the courage to sing for an audience, until someone close to him pushed him to take the leap.

The Grand Ole Radio

The Grand Old Radio is a duo of musicians who have been playing for most of their lives. They typically perform with an acoustic guitar and upright bass. They enjoy performing for audiences and keeping the heart and soul of real classic country music alive. The group previously competed in Celebration of Talent in 2017.

Lauren Hale

Lauren is a 19-year-old from Oil City. Her talents range from singing to acting. She hopes to make people feel something through her music.

Will Ion

Will, from Cooperstown, is nine years old. He started taking guitar lessons when he was five. He also plays Ukulele. He loves to play guitar and learn new songs. Music and being in shows at the Barrow makes him very happy. Will was previously a contestant in Celebration of Talent in 2017.

Nathaniel Lerch

Nathaniel, from Clarion, is a junior at Clarion Area High School. He has played piano and trombone since he was eight years old and began violin lessons at age 12. He is drum major for marching band, a contender in the District 3 and Region 2 band festivals, captain of the cross country team, and participates in Track and Field. Piano has always been an escape for him, and playing for others reminds him that the reward for hard work and dedication are worth it in all that he does.

Darien Wenner

Darien is a 10-year-old third grader at Cranberry Elementary School. She has been singing since she was three. She has been involved in singing with her church worship team, HOLeY Jeans Community Choir, and a guest singer at many local churches. She recently sang for the Veterans Day program at the Cranberry High School.

Amy Wimer

Amy, from Barkeyville, is a 1997 graduate from FHS. She sings because she loves it and does solos at her church often. She has three sons (10, 12, and 14), and the older they get, the more she is able to get back into music.

“Celebration of Talent” will take place on Saturday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15.00, general admission.

For tickets or more information, visit the Barrow-Civic Theatre at 1223 Liberty Street in Franklin, call 814-437-3440, or visit

Copyright © 2019 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Category: Community, Entertainment, Events, Local News, News