On February 28 fifty metro area high school acts competed in the semi-final round of the 11th Annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. Six outstanding performing arts professionals adjudicated the performances and narrowed the field to 14 acts (20 students) who will move on to the finals, performing on the Fabulous Fox Stage for a special NinePBS broadcast to air later this spring.
Annually 120,000+ viewers have watched the NinePBS feature program on the final competition. We are thrilled that NinePBS is partnering with the us again to broadcast the 2021 competition. Due to pandemic constraints, the final competition will not be filmed in front of a live audience on stage at the Fox Theatre, however the finalists will have the opportunity to perform in front of a small group of their closest family and friends. Finalists include a variety of singers, musicians, dancers, a poet, and an acrobat (a list of acts can be found here).
Mary Strauss, creator of the St. Louis Teen Competition and Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation Board President “It’s a thrill for me to see the competition evolve with new acts, talents and skills! Every year is so different – we have a great mix of talent this year!”
In addition to the excitement of performing on the Fox Stage, contestants are eligible to win scholarships, prizes, and performance opportunities. Nearly $50,000 in prizes, cash awards, and college scholarships will be distributed among the top competitors. A full list of prizes along with official event information can be found on the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s (FPACF) website.
The acts will be directed by St. Louis native Tony Parise, Broadway actor, dancer, director, choreographer, who is returning for his 11th year to write the script and direct the finals. Parise will work with choreographer Yvonne Meyer Hare and music director Steve Neale to prepare performers for filming on the Fox Stage.
Finalists acts will be judged on technical ability, interpretation, stage presence, and originality. Judges for the finals have careers spanning music, dance, and Broadway. A complete list of final round judges is available on the FoxPACF website.
The announcement of the date and time of the Nine PBS broadcast, subsequent re-broadcast, and online celebrations will be available on the FPACF website and Nine PBS website along with social media outlets. The 2020 winner was DemBari Taneh, a freestyle hip hop dancer from Kirkwood High School who will return this year for a special performance. A complete list of the past ten years of winners and finalists can be found on the FoxPACF website.