Bill Riley Talent Search local winners told

Ava Schilling of Jefferson and Keaton Schlatter of Coon Rapids earned the right to perform at the Iowa State Fair at the 27th annual Bill Riley Talent Search, sponsored by Greene County Farm Bureau,  on the Plaza Stage during the Bell Tower Festival Saturday.

Michael Cooley, Greene County Extension coordinator, served as emcee, assisted by Hardin Clovers 4-H club members Kirsten, Kassie and Regan Lamoureux and Haley Hall.

BTF Bill Riley winnersSprout division winners were (pictured front, from left):  1st place – Ava Schilling, age 8, of Jefferson, who sang “Can’t Get a Man with a Gun”; 2nd place – Gretah Johnson, age 9, of Jefferson, who performed a tap dance solo to “Long Tall Sally”; and 3rd place – Cael Fisher, age 12, of Grand Junction, who played “Skyfall” on the piano.

Senior division winners were (pictured back, from left):  1st place – Dakota Brown, age 17, of Altoona, who played the guitar and sang “King of Spain”; 2nd place – Keaton Schlatter, age 19, of Coon Rapids, who sang a vocal solo “Warm as the Autumn Light”; and 3rd place – Snowy Chargo, age 21, of Jefferson, who played the French horn solo “Aire de Chasse”.

Schilling and Schlatter will advance to the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair in August and represent Greene county.  Senior division winner Dakota Brown had already qualified.

Judges were Matt Schutt of Jewell, Jessica Chapman of Jefferson, and Miranda Sebourn, also of Jefferson.

Bill Riley Jr was in attendance at the show and said a few words between the Sprout and Senior divisions.  Riley said he was impressed by the wide array of talent in the Sprout division and commented that he was sure the Senior entries would be just as talented.  He thanked all performers for sharing their talents, their enthusiasm, and commitment to the Bill Riley Talent Search.  He said competition at the state level begins at local talent searches like the Jefferson one which showcase talented young people who then have the opportunity to participate at a higher level.  He also thanked event organizers Marilyn Parker and Bill and Donna Sutton for their time involvement in organizing the local show and thanked the community for its support. Jim Giese and James Holz also helped with the show.

Tom Hinote of Jefferson entertained the audience with his keyboard and vocal talents while the judges conferred.

After the presentation of ribbons and awards, the show closed with Cooley thanking Tom Hinote of Jefferson for playing the piano and singing while the judges were conferring.

Keaton Schlatter
Keaton Schlatter
Ava Schilling
Ava Schilling
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