Talented young Iowans took the Plaza Stage Saturday evening during the Bell Tower Festival vying for spots in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. Performers came from Jefferson, Cherokee, Gowrie, West Des Moines, Creston, Denison, Hamlin, Ames and Bayard. Seven acts competed in each division.
Winning in the Sprout division for ages 2-12 was 10-year-old dancer Brooklyn Miller of Gowrie. Placing second was Jordyn Linn and Elli Heiden, both 12, of Denison. They performed an acrobatic duet. Third place went to 11-year-old violinist Lucy Gannon of West Des Moines.
In the Senior division for ages 13-21, pianist Ana Yam, 15, of Ames took first place. Brittany Linch, 16, of Cherokee placed second with her trumpet solo. Bailey Miller, 17, of Gowrie placed third with her lyrical dance solo.
First place winners advance to competition at the Iowa State Fair. Ana Yam has already qualified by placing first at another local competition, so that privilege will go to Linch.
Judges for the evening were Valerie Williams of Coâ€™Motion Dance Theater in Ames, and Kelsey Moran and Kyra Babcock, vocal music and instrumental music directors at AC-GC High School.
Local performers were Brianna Blasnitz, 12, of Jefferson with a vocal solo, and David Petersen, 21, of Jefferson, with a musical theater selection.
Bolton & Menk was local sponsor of the show. Corporate sponsor of the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair is Hy-Vee.
Stephanie Hall served as emcee with Jim Geise helping on stage, Doug Hawn providing sound, and Clay Ross helping with arrangements. Local coordinator was Tori Riley.