NBA Welcome Day Rising Star Competition 2019

The Newtown Rising Star Singing Competition will take place at Newtown’s Welcome Day at the south stage at Fred Beans Ford, 10 N. Sycamore Street in Newtown.

This "Newtown Idol" event is open to all area student and adult vocalists, grades 7 and above. Winners of the Rising Star Competition will be determined by a panel of judges on event day.  Registration for the competition is CLOSED.

Newtown Business Association is funding $150 for each of the first-prize winners in both the adult category and the 7th grade through 12th grade student bracket.

Emcee for the competition will be Eric Scott Gold.


Kim Allen - Celebrity Judge
Singing alongside her sisters Debbie, Joni and Kathy, Kim is a vocalist for the group Sister Sledge.  The group is best known for their critically and commercially successful album "We are Family."  Kim will sing their mega-hit "We are Family" at Welcome Day!  Sister Sledge recently finished an Australian Tour and will be performing in Disney World.  They are also working on a feature film based on Kim's memoir "LifeSong."  Portions of the film's promo were filmed in Newtown!

Kim and her sisters were trained as vocalists by their grandmother and former lyric soprano opera singer Viola Williams.  Kim also became an ordained minister.  She is the daughter of Edwin, a tap dancer, and Florez, an actress.  She and her sisters performed for Pope Francis at a Save the Children charity benefit in London in 2015.  CLICK HERE to see the Official Music Video (1979) of Sister Sledge singing "We Are Family"!  CLICK HERE to see Sister Sledge perform their hit "We Are Family" in concert in December 2017.

Mick Petrucci - District Judge, former NBA President
Mick Petrucci has been a big part of the Newtown Community, as former NBA President, participation in Newtown Rotary and many other community organizations, and now as District Judge.  He has lent his voice and narration to the Newtown Holiday Parade, the NBA Antique & Classic Car Show and other NBA events.  We are happy to have him as a judge for this year's Rising Star Competition.


Paul Teufel - Paul is pleased to return as a Rising Star judge for the second time in as many years.  His over two decades of music experience began when he participated in his school choir in the first grade.  He began playing the drums at the age of 9, which led to his involvement with the Holy Ghost Prep concert band, percussion ensemble, and jazz band.  He played drums and guitar with the St. Bede Parish Young Adult Choir during his high school and college years.  Recently, he has lent his drum and guitar-playing abilities to the Newtown School of Rock Adult program and his latest group, “Turning the Tides.”

Paul Venanzi - Paul is a multi instrumentalist playing sax, keyboards, drums. Paul is also a vocalist and producer, and the creator and founding member of “Cranbury Jazz”.  Paul has played with groups, including “Swamp Crawlers”, “Rose Parade” and ,” Blue Son”.



Danielle Harrington - singing "The Dog Days Are Over" by Florence and the Machine
Danielle is a Temple University graduate  currently working in Philadelphia as a high school math teacher. She has performed in plays in high school and even as a professional wrestler; she has always felt the most  comfortable performing as a singer.  Singing is her favorite thing to do and something that she will continue to do for as long as she possibly can.

Tina Kerr - singing "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper
Tina holds a Theatre Degree from Kutztown University where she specialized in Theatre for young people.  By day she works as a Special Education Classroom assistant and is a proud mom to her daughter Ryann who also shines under the spot light.  She would like to thank her husband Sean and her family and friends for always supporting her love of music and her vocal coach Rita Perez for giving her the confidence to get back on stage.

Michele Millar - singing "Me & Bobby McGee" by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster
This mother of two discovered her singing voice after a series of spinal surgeries and lengthy recoveries; this gave her a new-found appreciation for life and the people in it.  Singing also helped her discover her singing voice, and, with it, a new found confidence.  She says, "Music soothes the soul and brings people together, and it was in letting my voice sing what my heart was saying and feeling that I discovered my passion in life. "

Laura Potenza - singing "Gold" by Linda Eder
Laura has been taking classes under the guidance of Rita Perez at the Newtown School of Music for eight years.  She loves singing for fun, and has previously performed in St. Cecilia's Talent Show, the Morrisville Senior Center-Star Search Talent Show and won Newtown Idol 2014.   Laura has been a resident of Newtown for eleven years, and lives with her son, Rocco, and their cat, Mary.

Kelly Riley - singing "The Winner Takes It All" by ABBA
Kelly is an animal lover, an ex-Army soldier, and a sixth generation farmer who lives on the family farm in Upper Makefield/Newtown.  After high school, she attended some classes at the Walnut Street Theater for a short time and has always loved to sing, dance and act.  She now helps at the family farm, which is celebrating its nearly 100 years in the family.

Ryan Tyma - singing "Wicked Little Town" by Stephen Trask
Ryan is an industrial mechanic from Bucks County Pennsylvania.



Elena Azcuaga-Suayfeta - singing "That Man" by Carol Emerald
Elena  is from Bucks County, PA. She loves singing and particularly musical theater.  She was Dorothy in Newtown Elementary’s musical production of the The Wizard of Oz, and Bert in Mary Poppins; she is a member of the school’s Newtown Sound Chorus. She is a student of Newtown's voice teacher Pamela Stein Lynde and is excited to participate for the second time in Newtown Welcome Day’s Rising  Start competition.

Sabrina Bastian -  singing "Tag You're It" by Melanie Martinez.
Sabrina is a Junior at Philadelphia Academy Charter High School, and loves singing, acting, dancing, and preforming before audiences.  In addition to singing, Sabrina has studied dance at Dance With Celeste, where she has also fed her desire for preforming. After high school, Sabrina aspires to be a Psychologist and a professional performer.

Mandy Black - singing and playing ukulele to "I Don't Know My Name" by Grace Vanderwaal.
Mandy is a 12th grader at Council Rock North.  She has performed in shows at school before and has always dreamed of participating in Welcome Day.

Ciara Constance - singing "Grand Piano" by Nicki Minaj
Ciara is 16 years old and a sophomore at Council Rock South High School.  Ever since she was a little girl she has always had a love for music and singing.  Aside from singing in the choir in her grade school, this will be her second time performing in front of an audience.  Ciara also enjoys playing competitive softball as a pitcher and values her time spent hanging out with friends and family.

Katelyn Ewing - singing "Waving Through a Window" from Dear Evan Hansen, by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Katelyn Ewing is based out of Levittown, PA and began singing when she was 8 years old for Hope Lutheran's Church contemporary band service. She continues to sing for church services at Woodside Presbyterian Church. She enjoys singing Christian, country, theatrical, and pop music.  Her parents are both major influences in her singing career, through singing in the car to playing guitar and her singing along, they supported her and helped her grow in music.  She participates in Concert Choir, Select Choir, Honors Choir, and the BCMEA Music Festival (Bucks County Music Education Association). In the BCMEA Festival, she placed 4th place out of all sopranos.

Greg Golini - singing "Somewhere Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin
Greg is 15 years old and attends Council Rock North High School.  HE enjoys a wide variety of things like spending time with his family and hanging with friends in town.  Singing is one of his passions and has always wanted to sing the songs he likes, and to see how far he can get.

Ellie Halstrick - singing "What I Did for Love" by Josh Groban
Ellie Halstrick is a 13 year-old, 8th grade student at Newtown Friends School.   She lives with her mom, dad, younger brother Charlie, and numerous rescue animals, including Potter, her beloved pet cat.  Ellie enjoys all musical genres, and is starting to develop an interest in musical theater. Her other interests include reading, skiing, running, biking and snuggling Potter!

Emily Higgins - singing "The Wizard and I" by Steven Schwartz.
Emily is 18 years old and is a senior at Nazareth Academy High School.  She didn’t start singing seriously until about age 16, when she started taking singing lessons with Rita Perez of the Newtown Music School. Emily has auditioned for The Voice and many other shows like American Idol and America’s Got Talent.  She will be attending Temple University in the fall where she will be studying to become a Speech Pathologist and minoring in vocal performance!

Drew Hirsch - singing "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Miserables by Claude-Michel Schönberg
Drew is 16 years old and a junior in high school.  She enjoys spending time hanging out with her close friends, family, and her dogs.  She also loves to cook and comes up with cool new recipes for herself and her family to try. Other than singing,  Drew loves playing the piano and ukulele and occasionally trying to figure out how to play her sister’s guitar.

Cecilia Kern - singing "There's Your Trouble" by the Dixie Chicks.
Cecilia is an 8th grader at Newtown Middle School.  She is the winner of last year's Rising Star Singing Competition and placed 3rd in St Cecilia's Got Talent.  She is excited to be competing in Newtown again this year.  In addition to singing, she enjoys horseback riding, and spending time with her family and friends.

Angie Logan - singing "Reflections" by Cristina Aguilera
Angie is a senior at Pennsbury High School who has a passion for singing and loves to dance as well.   She has also been involved in many theater programs.  Angie is looking forward on attending college as a psychology major.

Haily Logan - singing "Bound to You" by Cristina Aguilera
Haily is a high school senior who loves singing and music.