Friday, July 30, 2010

My 13 year old Student, NicKayla, Represents Delaware at Nationals in Bermuda

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2010

NicKayla -   2010 Talented Teen Delaware
Multi-talented 13-Year Old Represented Delaware At The Nationals In Bermuda

For four years, Delaware has shown their competitive spirit at the International Finals of the Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens Scholarship Competition. First in 2007 by Loren Boyd, a graduate of Howard High School and now on her way to Delaware University; followed by Dietra Hunter of Cab Calloway in 2008, on her way to Hampton Univ; and in 2009, Nadjah Pennington was 2nd Runner up at the Nationals in NY. This year’s representative, NicKayla (she goes by just one name) calls herself an octo-threat (as opposed to a triple threat). Not only is she excited to have represented Delaware at the Internationals finals in Bermuda, but she placed in the top ten finalists and was awarded the Miss Personality trophy and scholarship.

NicKayla, a homeschooler from Bear, DE, sang her way into the judge’s heart with her rip roaring rendition of “Listen” from the movies “Dream Girls”. NicKayla, only 13 years old and the youngest competitor, was selected by the Inspiration for Excellence/Talented Teens DE Board after being nominated by Nadjah Pennington, to represent Delaware this year. Nadjah, Miss Talented Teen DE 2009, says NicKayla is a natural and she was the right one to send to Bermuda this year.”
Earlean Dickerson, State Director for Inspiration for Excellence says “The mission of Inspiration For Excellence /Talented Teens DE is to inspire young women to excel in all aspects of life. We believe that by providing young women with an outlet to showcase their performing talents along with information on how to achieve spiritual, financial and personal success, we can build confidence, raise self-esteem, and develop role models for coming generations….one girl at a time.” The young women chosen to represent DE participate in a National or International Scholarship program outside of the State.

Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens International Scholarship Program (HJTTI), founded by broadcast legend Harold “Hal” Jackson, co-founder of the world famous Apollo, is now in its 40th year. The Program has offered thousands of women an opportunity to receive educational scholarships and trips abroad while sharing their gifts of talent on a professional stage. Many of these young contestants have since become some of the brightest stars in the entertainment field, receiving record contracts and acting roles. Before they were stars, Vanessa L. Williams, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Jada Pinkett Smith were part of the Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens family.

NicKayla was a featured guest vocalist at the DuPont Clifford Brown Jazz Festival for the past two years, she also had a very successful solo performance at the Paradise Palm, 901 N. King Street. She has performed on Broadway and her dream is to become an international star. For more information regarding Inspiration for Excellence/Talented Teens DE, or to support NicKayla, visit, call 302-836-5721or e-mail

Student Hopes to Perform at Lilith Fair Concert as their New Artist

My student the ever talented and beautiful Karissa Laren recorded an original song called "We Are the Sounds".

Check her out click on the link to watch her video and hear her captivating chops.

About Karissa LaRen

Acoustic/Pop/Soul describes the sound of Karissa LaRen as she translates moments of clarity, chaos and honesty into song. LaRen teamed up with producer Stephen Joseph to write her first single, “We Are The Sounds,” to offer authenticity and invigoration to the souls and taste buds of 2010.

With a Mother from NYC and a Father from an island in Alaska, (where she was also born,) Karissa was bred by diversity and born into adventure. Her journeys include helping the Katrina victims of New Orleans, serving the HIV community in Baltimore, working with the orphans of Liberia and so on. LaRen’s love for many cultures and her thirst for life become evident in the treasured perspectives of her song writing and her stage performances.

LaRen’s achingly beautiful voice is accompanied by her rhythmic skills on the guitar and drums. “I find myself writing to the drums more than anything. When I feel a certain flow and am being honest with myself, it’s as if the song creates itself as a sort of anthem of the moment just waiting to be sung,” says LaRen.

As you sing along with Karissa LaRen, she will slip her hand in yours, and you will be joined in the sounds of life from all over the world. Be sure to check out her debut single, “We Are The Sounds,” on YouTube, and stay up-to-date with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Student Wins Top 5 Bands in DC with CBS

My student Justin Fry and his band NOCO won with CBS for Top 5 Bands in DC. They have a show in DC on the 29th that will be filmed by them and aired as part of a show on the 31st. Then voting takes place the next day and the winner crowned!

Justin performing live
Here's the link....

and photos from the event

Make sure to vote!

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