EVENTS OF 2005
Saturday, March 12, 2005:
Lorraine Klaasen - International Women's Day Concert,
featuring RapSohD Talented Teens 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004
Oscar Peterson Hall,
Sunday, April 30, 2005: 2pm
Pierrefonds Cultural Center
13850 Gouin Boul. West, Pierrefonds
What's up With RapSohD's Talented Teens
The paths may diverge and the opportunities vary yet overall, the benefits that have accrued to contestants of RapSohD's Miss Talented Teen Canada as a result of their participation cannot be minimized. These include training and preparation received for the event, added self-esteem, confidence, friendships made due to interaction with others and for the winners who went on to represent Canada, a greater sense of social and cultural awareness, plus the educational advantage of the entire experience and bonuses received as a result of making it to the international competition.
Many talented teen contestants have since gained added exposure at local community events staged by other organizations. Examples of these are performances at the Ethel Bruneau School of Dance Finale, West Island Black Community Association's annual banquet and Visions Celebration hosted by Black Theatre Workshop (BTW). It should be noted that since 2002, RapSohD's talented teens have been recipients of the annual Victor Philip's Award of $1000.00, presented for excellence in the performing arts and academic achievement by BTW. This year's award went to poet and first runner-up, DeCarla Clarke. Miss Talented Teen 2004, Khai Lewis-Welsh, received a special talent award of $500.00. Placed thirteenth in the International competition, New York, Khai's potential as a vocalist was recognized and rewarded with a partial sponsorship by Kemet Productions Int'l, Washington, DC., to "Road To Stardom." This is an artist development workshop, in Hollywood, California, March 15 - 20, 2005, which culminates with her attendance at the NAACP Awards.
Special mention of contributions by past teen contestants should also be made. Vanessa Williams (Pierrefonds) may have been quite surprised at the unexpected response to the combination of her piano accompaniment and 8-year old Erin Masters' vocal rendition of "You Raise Me Up" (Josh Groban). Unanimous applause was received from the crowd of 400 plus attending the service celebrating the life of the late Neshira Golding. Vansssa has also initiated an annual fund-raising campaign for the Montreal Children's Hospital. Melina Soochan, the first Miss Talented Teen Canada, has repeatedly given of her time and talent in support of RapSohD and other community ventures. So too have Jamila Joseph and Vanessa Regnier, from Cornwall, Ont., for whom distance was never a deterrent when asked to volunteer her skills. These young ladies, as well as talented teens Mylene Otou, Annemarie Keenan, and teen mum, Paulette Joseph, came forward in support of the organization's 2004 fundraising event last April and shared the honour of being part of a presentation featuring Lorraine Klaasen, one of Montreal's famous local, national and international performers.