Christina Jones, winner of the 2017 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition photo by Kevin Lowder

Some of the region’s most talented high school students are once again getting ready to show off their performance skills for the eighth annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The popular event gives finalists the opportunity to compete for scholarships and other prizes on the Fox Theatre stage in front of an enthusiastic hometown crowd.

Students are encouraged to enter in categories that include (but are not limited to): Singer, Actor, Musician, Dancer, Musical Theatre, Rapper, Comedian, Magician, or Specialty Act.

Registration is free and now open for all high school students in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. The competition features students vying for more than $30,000 in college scholarships, cash awards and prizes, as well as performance opportunities.

In order to qualify, contestants must be enrolled for the 2017-2018 school year in the 9th, 10th, 11th or 12th grade. The student must attend a high school or be home-schooled within a 50-mile radius from the Arch in all directions.

2017 Teen Talent winner Christina Jones with the Fox Theatre’s Mary Strauss  photo by Kevin Lowder

“We hope students who are passionate about the performing arts will register for the competition,” said Mary Strauss, president of the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation board of directors.

Judges for both the preliminary and semi-final competitions are professionals representing a cross-section of the St. Louis performing arts community and entertainment industry who give constructive performance advice to each act individually.  Each round of competition will have a panel of at least three judges who will adjudicate and advance acts to the next round. Acts will be judged on technical ability, interpretation, stage presence and originality. Professional insight regarding auditioning tips and techniques, along with scholarship opportunities throughout every level of the competition, benefit any high school student looking to improve their performance skills and education.

The preliminary round will be held at the end of February/early March 2018 and the semi-final round will be held in March 2018.  The final competition on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at The Fabulous Fox is a professionally staged production, adjudicated by both St. Louis and national performing arts professionals. This final event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In addition to the First Place ($8,000), Second Place ($6,000) and Third Place ($4,000) scholarships awarded at the final round, restricted scholarship opportunities to Lindenwood University, Southeast Missouri State University, Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis will also be available to students taking part in the competition. Each finalist will also be eligible for unique public performance opportunities within the St. Louis area.  Finalists from the past six years have performed at The Muny, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, Webster Groves Art & Air Fair, Taste of Maplewood, St. Louis African Arts Festival, Winter Opera St. Louis, and the Strauss Park Alive Rising Stars Showcase.

Mary Strauss (center) with St. Louis Teen Talent Competition choreographer Yvonne Hare and emcee Ben Nordstrom  photo by Kevin Lowder

“We have been thrilled with the response to this event from students, parents, arts organizations and the community.  The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation is uniquely positioned to provide the opportunity for students to perform at the Fox and on other stages around St. Louis. We are pleased that we are able to put talented young people in the spotlight,” said Strauss.

The call for entries deadline is Dec. 1. Registration and other details can be found on foxpacf.org.