- Editor's Note: Thanks to the Yorktown Teen Center for sharing the information. If you'd like to post your own news on Patch, click here.
Two Yorktown teens will be performing at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem on Sept. 19, on the exact stage where Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson launched their careers.
, a 2012 graduate, and , an 8th grade student at , will be on stage for the infamous Amateur Night at the Apollo, which has been going on for almost 80 years. Amateur Night is the model in which present talent realty shows are modeled after, such as "America's Got Talent", and "American Idol."
Both young women have performed at First Fridays Café Open Mic Night sponsored by the and the Justin Veatch Fund. They have also gone on to play at other venues locally and nationally.
“It is amazing that two of our First Fridays performers go on to Amateur Night at the Apollo” commented Helena Rodriguez of the Yorktown Teen Center. “Having both of them performing on the same night is incredible!”
The Teen Center was researching costs of a bus to the Apollo, when Yorktown resident Steve Lennox of Lennox Bus Sales in Tarrytown decided to donate the use of a bus to Yorktown Teen Center on behalf of the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation.
Koller will compete with other adults for the title “Super Top Dog” performer with the winner receiving $10,000. Her success is totally in the hands of the audience who may boo her off the stage. A "sweeper" tap dances off the unwanted talent. Ultimately, the audience votes on who advances to the next round with an applause meter.
The young musician has been performing on stage for more than half her life in about 40 mainstage productions. One of her most memorable parts was her lead role in the school's production of "Little Me”.
Koller can be found with her guitar and ukulele singing mostly indie rock music at venues such as 12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar in Peekskill, MTK Tavern in Mt. Kisco and the in Mohegan Lake. Her true passion lies in singing and scatting jazz pieces. She is the singer for the Swing 4 Band with fellow Yorktowners including Jeff Whalen who is a music teacher in the school district. On Jan. 2, 2013 The Kristina Koller Band will be the headline act at The Winery at Saint George where they will perform jazz, funk and rock. She is currently majoring in Jazz Studies at The Hartt School of Music.
For more about Koller, click here.
Zerena Lupo will compete against her own peers for the title of "Stars of Tomorrow" at the Apollo on Sept. 19. She has been writing poetry and playing guitar for six years. Lupo is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and she performs regularly at events sponsored by The Yorktown Teen Center, and The Justin Veatch Fund and Alliance for Safe Kids.
Lupo has been interviewed and played her music live in several radio stations, including “The Morning Show” with Frank Truatt at “WTBQ 93.5FM” in Warwick, NY, and “The Guitar Show” with Mike Byrnes which broadcasts in Peekskill Cablevision. Zerena will be performing at The Fresh Air Festival in Modena, NY on Sept. 1 which will be held at The Hurds Family Farm and is being sponsored by Big Mountain Entertainment.
She has played at singer/songwriter sessions at the famous “THE BITTER END” in New York City and has also won “Best Original Song Performance” for the 14 and under category in the “Music On & Up Annual Showcase”, held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Boston. In Nashville, Lupo has performed at many songwriter nights, including The Bluebird Cafe, The Nashville Palace, The Commodore Lounge, Douglas Corner Cafe, Rooster Texas, Star Café, Richard’s Café and Dave & Buster’s. She also recently appeared in the Nashville TV show “Performing Writer."
In May 2011, as part of the Next Generation Arts Festival sponsored by The Yorktown Teen Center, Lupo played her music at The Fieldhome nursery home. From that first visit, she started the “Second Sundays at Fieldhome” program where young teens bring music to the elderly every month. She will be performing, along with other teen musicians, at the The Fieldhome’s annual Fall Festival to be held on Sept. 22 at The Fieldhome and the Grange Fair on Sept. 8.
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