Morristown’s Got Talent and Student Trio Wins 7th Annual Event
By Joe Weston
Morristown—“May I have the envelope, please” was the defining moment for a Morristown High School Senior Trio, who were awarded the first place prize in the Morristown’s Got Talent Show at the Mayo Performing Arts Center last Wednesday.
The winners of the much anticipated musical event were announced by the contest’s host, Tara Bernie, producer of NBC’s Access Hollywood. The audience enjoyed a wide selection of entertainment by 16 competing acts, who were local performers of all ages, not just students. The acts were chosen from an original pool of 70 locals who had auditioned to be among those on stage.
The annual talent contest is an event sponsored by the Morris Education Foundation and is actually a fund raiser, whose monies go to the Morris school district for student enhancement programs.
Sara Dalpe, singer, Valerie Bai, violinist, and Jordan Rabinowitz, bass player, were all smiles as they accepted the $1,000 prize for being selected as showing the most talent. The student group got their start at one of the school’s coffeehouses. “This is the first time I’ve received a check this large, but hopefully not the last,” said Dalpe, who performed in the Morristown High’s musicals for all 4 years.
Ironically, the trio calls themselves “Band of Misfits.” The story behind the name was told to the audience by Hollywood host Tara Bernie. When the three performers were “next up” in one of their auditions, the guy in charge jokingly said, “Who is this band of misfits?” After that, the name stuck.
The second place winners were four young percussionists that surprised the audience with their amazing dexterity on the marimba. According to the Playbill, students Stephen Ferm of Morristown, Emily Carvalho of Morris Plains, Reed Puleo of Chester, and Neil McNulty of Randolph have been captivated by Mark Ford’s style of Latin American bands. Calling themselves “Marimba Four,” they have been chosen for regional and state bands and are now part of the NJYS Percussion Ensemble.
The four percussionists were very humble in their reaction to receiving second place, giving credit to their coaches, teachers, family, and even to the support crew back stage.
Jazz vocalist Joe Van Loon accompanied by guitarist and friend Chris Deloris, both 20, claimed 3rd prize in Wednesday’s talent display. Van Loon had been studying at the Manhattan School of Music while DelSordi was at the Berklee College of Music, although both are currently working full time.
Van Loon mesmerized the crowd with his deep vocal tones, singing a jazz standard, “Autumn Leaves.” After awards were announced, Van Loon said “Tonight was for my family that I haven’t seen in 3 years and for Billie Holiday that has been dead for 50 years.”
The four judges determining the winners are all very prominent in their field.
According to the Playbill, Anthony Krizan is one of the premier guitarists, songwriters, and producers in the NY metropolitan area. He first rose to fame in the 90’s as a member of “The Spin Doctors.”
“Jersey Girl” Terrie Carr was also given the tough job of deciding whose talent among all the performers was most distinct. She is the Music Director/Midday Host for radio station 105.5 WDHA-“The Rock of New Jersey.”
The judge listed third on the Playbill was Jay Lustig, the Arts and Entertainment Editor for NJ’s largest daily newspaper, The Star Ledger.
Rounding out the judge’s panel was Alyssa Derling— a performer, choreographer, and artistic director of Darling Dance Arts, a modern dance and musical theatre company.