Upscale Singers award scholarships, sing in Christmas Concert

December 10, 2008

CAVE CREEK – For the second year in a row, the Upscale Singers have awarded vocal music scholarships to local students who love to sing. Three of the winners will perform with the adult choir in their annual Christmas Concert Sunday, Dec. 14, at Christ the Lord Lutheran Church.

Upscale singer awardsKristina Thomas, a junior at Notre Dame Prep, took first place scholarship. She's currently vice president of the Drama Club at her school, and has performed in "Fiddler on the Roof" and "Beauty and the Beast." She also plays second base on the junior varsity softball team, and sings at the teen mass at Our Lady of Joy Catholic Church.

Kristina occasionally does scat singing with the Notre Dame Jazz Band – quite a contrast with the beautiful lyrics she will sing in her solo at the Christmas concert, "Who Would Imagine a King?"

Melissa Nelson and Sophia Beaudoin also will perform at the concert as part of the Upscale Kids. They'll all be singing songs from the popular Christmas movie "Polar Express."

Melissa, a student at Desert Arroyo Middle School and the second place scholarship winner, has performed with the Desert Foothills Theater, the Missoula Children's Theater, and with the Upscale Kids. She is also an athlete, participating in her school cross country team that recently won first place in the district conference, and a member of her school's student government.

Stacy Stoddard, a student at Sonoran Trails and the third place winner, sings in her school and church choirs. She also plays piano, and is the starting point guard on her 7th grade basketball team.

Sophia Beaudoin, the youngest winner and student at Desert Arroyo Middle School, received a "developmental scholarship." She would like to act and sing – and be a tennis player.
In addition to the four vocal music scholarships, the Singers awarded two scholarships to Peter Yanovitch and Grace Linamen. Peter and Grace attended the Arizona Magic of Music and Dance camp last summer, a program for youth with disabilities.

The Christmas concert on Dec. 14 includes beautiful choral arrangements that celebrate the season, selections from "The Polar Express," and some songs to Santa and golfers that will leave us all chuckling to ourselves. And then of course there are traditional carols with audience participation.

The Upscale Singers will also perform on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the Kiwanis luncheon, and at the Heritage on Tuesday, Dec. 16. They are under the direction of Margaret Watson.
For information and tickets to the Dec. 14 concert, call Barbara Kerner at 480-575-0188. Tickets are also available at the door.

Photo: The winners of the Upscale Singers' second annual scholarship awards (l.-r.) Sophia Beaudoin, Kristina Thomas (first place), Melissa Nelson and Stacy Stoddard.
Courtesy photo