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Annual Community Talent Show Benefits CISD Students

First- and second-place winners of Commerce Idol. L-R: Louis Raymond-Kolker, Vamsi Kalakuntla, Colton Davis, Jayla Demidio, Romy Cramer, Lauren Westhafer, and Michael McWhorter.
Jerrod Knight
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First- and second-place winners of Commerce Idol. L-R: Louis Raymond-Kolker, Vamsi Kalakuntla, Colton Davis, Jayla Demidio, Romy Cramer, Lauren Westhafer, and Michael McWhorter.

The Commerce Rotary Club carried out the 12th annual Commerce Idol community talent show on Saturday, April first at the Ferguson Social Sciences auditorium on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce. Acts this year included tap dancing, turtabling (digital DJing,) and a ukulele performance.

Performers ranged in age from 10 to 24, and winners were chosen by a select panel of judges based on style, demonstrated skill, and audience feedback.

First place winners in each category received trophies and a cash prize, and as an added bonus, they're invited to perform at this year's Bois d'Arc Bash, which takes place each September in Commerce. Winners included:

  • Michael McWhorter, first place in the 5th-8th Grade category, with a piano solo
  • Jalya Demidio, first place in the 9th-12th Grade category, who impressed the crowd with her singing
  • Louis Raymond-Kolker, first place in the 18 & Older category, who performed a song on his steel pan

The audience also participated in winner selection, choosing Colton Davis, who sang and played his guitar, as the "People's Choice" award winner.
Singer/songwriter Sarah Hobbs, a former student at A&M-Commerce who is now a professional musician, regaled the crowd as an invited guest with a selection of her own tunes while votes were tallied.

The Commerce Rotary Club partnered with university student group Lions for Christ in order to hold the event on campus and to carry out all of the volunteer functions associated with the production. Proceeds from the show benefit qualified CISD students each year with scholarship funds to pursue higher education.

Jerrod Knight oversees station programming, news and sports operations, individual and corporate development efforts, business and budget planning and execution, and technical operations.
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