It’s like ‘American Idol,’ but in Steamboat: First Voices of Steamboat competition hits Chief stage Sunday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — When Melodie Querry became executive director of Opera Steamboat last summer, she wanted to create a signature event that would not only support the organization but also give back to the community. That vision came to fruition with Voices of Steamboat.
Local singers sent in audition tapes several months ago, and finalists were chosen in December 2019. The finals of the first Voices of Steamboat will be held at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16, at the Chief Theater, and the finalists don’t just sing — they’ve also been working to raise money for a nonprofit of their choice. Meet all the competitors below.
Arbuckle is currently attending school at Louisiana State University in Shreveport. She will graduate in May and plans to move back to the Steamboat Springs area as soon as possible. She fell in love with the area after spending several summers in Yampa through Outfitters for Christ, the nonprofit she is fundraising for.
Berg has been in choir nearly her whole life and still is, singing locally with the Steamboat Chamber Singers. She is active in the Steamboat music scene, performing solo as well as with a bluegrass trio, at events, such as the Main Street Steamboat Farmers Market, Art in the Park, happy hours and even weddings. She has been in Cabaret several times and does skits with the Super Fun Steamboat Show. Both Integrated Community and the Chief Theater reached out to Hayley, asking her to support their nonprofits, so she chose both of them. In honor of Integrated Community, she will be performing her chosen song in Spanish.
Dorin Leigh Dougall
After moving to Colorado in 1992, Dougall has lived full time in Steamboat since 2017. She is a retired physician/anesthesiologist and prior to moving to Steamboat, she founded and ran an anesthesia group and served as chief of anesthesia services and medical director of a Front Range multi-specialty surgery center. She began studying voice in 2017 and sings with a local group, The Celtic Trio. She made her opera debut in 2019 in Opera Steamboat’s production of “Frida.” She chose Steamboat Digs Dogs as her nonprofit.
Goodhart grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and was very involved in choir, theater and sports throughout high school. He cofounded an a cappella group and was selected as one of the top two basses in the Illinois All-State Honors choir. After high school, he attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City with a focus on vocal performance and musical theater. Goodhart has been teaching partner dance full time for the past 10 years and in Steamboat for the last year and a half. He chose to raise money for Steamboat Dance Theater.
Jennings is a teacher, singer and mother of three. She loves to hike and ski and has been coming to the Yampa Valley since her honeymoon in 1993. She plays the flute as a hobby, but her passion is vocal performance, particularly opera and oratorio. Stephanie chose Opera Steamboat as her charity because she loves the idea of having a viable opera company in the Yampa Valley and is grateful to the people who work so diligently to keep the art form alive.
Knowles, vice president of senior operations at Yampa Valley Bank, lives in Steamboat with her husband and three children who love to hike, camp, snowboard, ride horses and sing. She has been singing as far back as she can remember. She chose Young Tracks Preschool as her nonprofit because they provided wonderful care for all three of her children, so she could pursue her career.
Adia Clark Lay
Lay has lived in Steamboat since 2017 and is a sophomore at Steamboat Springs High School. She has been singing since she could talk and has played guitar since second grade. She recently started writing her own music and usually sings pop, rock and country but can play everything in between. She chose to raise money for The Bust of Steamboat, an organization that gives money to women in Routt County who have breast cancer.
Luster was born and raised in Steamboat and currently attends Steamboat Springs High School. He has a huge passion for music and theater, spending most of his time either singing or rehearsing. He has been in seven high school productions. Sam chose Partners of Routt County as his nonprofit, an organization that provides mentors to students, because he worked with them personally when he was in middle school. This Sunday, he will be singing an Italian Aria, “Ombra Mai Fu,” to recognize and thank his mother for all that she does.
Maxwell is currently the board chair of Opera Steamboat, and her first memory of singing is performing with her cousin in their grandparent’s living room with hairbrushes as microphones. She moved on to school choirs, voice lessons and singing in musicals. Maxwell is raising money for the Routt County Humane Society because of her deep love for animals.
Pierce has been a singer her whole life, singing in choruses — currently with the Steamboat Chamber Singers — and then as a soloist as well. She made a jazz CD, titled “Believe It,” several years ago, which she used for her audition tape. She sings locally in a band called Steamboat Folk and credits her fellow band members for encouraging her to enter the competition. Pierce chose Yampatika as her nonprofit because of all the work they do for outdoor education and awareness.
Swain is a sixth grader at Virginia Beach Middle School in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Steamboat has been her second home all of her life. She attended Soda Creek Elementary for a short time in third grade and was a member of Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club. She is very involved with The Hurrah Players, a musical theater company in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Aubrey chose to raise money for REPS — Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide — a volunteer coalition of community members invested in stopping suicide in the Yampa Valley and supporting those who have lost loved ones.
What: Voices of Steamboat
When: 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: Contact the Opera Steamboat box office at 970-879-1996
Singers can be sponsored until noon Sunday by visiting operasteamboat.org/voicesofsteamboat.
Sophie Dingle is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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