2003 RapSohD Competition
RapSohD's 3rd annual performing arts competition final, Living
the Dream took place on Sunday, May 25, 2003, at the Pierrefonds
Cultural Centre, 13850 boul. Gouin West. City Councillor Bert
Ward attended on behalf of the Borough of Pierrefonds/Senneville.
The production - directed and staged by and with thanks to Christopher
Lester, Director of Theatre and Music at John Abbott College
(JAC), Ste-Anne de Bellevue - provided an afternoon of excellent
talent and entertainment. From the opening remarks by emcee Mahalia
Verna, followed by the processional strains of Pomp and
Ceremony 1 up to the final victory walk of Miss Talented
Teen Canada 2003, the audience was engaged.
The programme for the afternoon was divided into two sections
between which there was a brief intermission. The competition, presented
in two segments during the first half was interspersed with performances
by invited guests. The first segment of the competition was based
on appearance and personality. Wearing formal attire the young ladies,
did a stage walk before introducing themselves in a speech no longer
than twenty seconds. The second segment was based on talent of which
the performance had to be 2 minutes or less. Here again the contestants
lived up to the expectations of the audience, family and friends,
exhibiting confidence as they delivered great performances that
included dancing and singing, one being a self-composed song that
was also self-accompanied on piano.
Each contestant had the possibility of receiving from each judge
a total of 65 points broken down as follows: Appearance 20; Personality
15 and Talent 30. Guidelines for ratings (AV, GD or VG) are
provided on each prescribed form. The accountants responsible for
tallying the ballots handed in were Wendy Davidson and
Louis Soochan. The judging panel included: Marcia Bailey,
(Choir director, Union United Church, judge 2002 Juno Awards): Dr.
Clarence Bayne -Past President BTW, Assoc. Professor, John Molson
School of Business, Concordia University; M. Georges Buteau
- Bassist, Jazz & Blues musician, member of Ethel Bruneau School
of Dance; Elaine Heitner - Music Appreciation, Computer Science-
Dawson College; Jacinta Luis - Composer, performer, Chairperson
Dawson School of Music.
Shortly following the intermission there was a dance routine
presented by the contestants and Melina Soochan RapSohD's
2001 winner that was choreographed by student volunteer Coralie
Heiler (JAC). In addition to the high quality of the performances
given by the participants during the competition, were those featuring
invited guest artistes all of whom donated their time and talent
to the success of this project. It was a pleasure to welcome among
them, past winners and runners-up who by accepting the invitation
to share their skills, demonstrated their appreciation and thanks
while empathising with the objectives of the organization.
Performances by former teen participants were given by Melina
Soochan, Miss Talented Teen Canada 2001, 1st winner of the Wilda
LaBrie HJTTI Scholarship for academic excellence; Jamila Joseph,
2002, 1st runner-up and winner of the 2003 Black Theatre Workshop's
Victor Philips Award; Leah McKesey, runner-up and subsequent
performing arts scholarship winner. James Seely, guitarist,
accompanied fellow Marianopolis student Melina Soochan on
one number. The professional contributions made by Sule (voice
and guitar) and Travis Knights (tap dancer) were quite riveting
and added another dimension to the overall event.
Finally it was time to call upon RapSohD's 2002 winner Vanessa
Regnier to fulfil her last responsibilities as the reigning
talented teen. This she did with her usual radiance and composure.
Looking resplendent in her Miss Talented Teen Canada crown, HJTTI
appearance dress and banner, she delivered a well-composed farewell
speech and two songs - the first of which was At Last by
Etta James, the second her winning number Testify to love
by Wynonna Judd. Her captivating sound was appreciated and applauded
by everyone. A final standing ovation was given to Vanessa
who represented Canada, RapSohD and HJTTI with decorum and pride.
RapSohD and its committee members extend congratulations and best
wishes to her for continued success.
An appearance on stage by Chris Lester, envelopes in hand
indicated the impending announcement of the judges' decisions. After
ensuring that all officiating persons were in position, the first
envelope was opened and the name of the runner-up was announced.
Thirteen-year-old St-Lazare resident Valerie Martin who danced
to Flashdance by Irene Cara would be second to sixteen-year-old
Montréaler, Mylène Otou. This high achiever of Pensionnat
Du St-Nom-De-Marie wove herself into the hearts of the judges with
a touching rendition of Hero by Mariah Carey.
As she prepares to fulfil her responsibilities to represent Canada
at the 33rd annual Hal Jackson's Talented Teens International performing
arts scholarship competition, in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. July 19 -
27, 2003, RapSohD, its members, supporters and all Canadians offer
Mylène congratulations and best wishes for a positive and
Mylène and Valérie Martin
Good luck to Mylène Otou-Mbezele, RapSohD's Miss Talented
Teen Canada 2003.
Welcome, Mylène! Goodbye, Vanessa and Melina!
N.B. RapSohD is grateful to the staff and Administrative Department
of the Pierrefonds Recreational and Cultural Services (Borough of
Pierrefonds/Senneville) and everyone who has contributed meaningfully