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10 Questions with the Teen Star Winner

Dos Pueblos Sophomore Nolan Montgomery, this year's Teen Star winner

Dos Pueblos Sophomore Nolan Montgomery, this year's Teen Star winner

By Halani Cabugos, Staff Writer

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Q: What motivated you to sign up for Teen Star ?

I basically have watched this competition since I was in second grade and actually Mary Grace won and she’s in my grade right now. I didn’t really have the confidence to audition these past few years but this year I just said ‘why not?’.

Q: What song did you sing?

I sang “Listen” from Dreamgirls, which is actually a musical theatre song. So I was racking my brain and talking to a bunch of friends about what I should sing and then, because I still wanted to stay true to who I was as a singer. I’ve been doing musical theatre and that’s what I love to do, so I said, ‘maybe I’ll just audition with a musical theatre piece’ and I found one that was perfect. \

They only wanted thirty seconds of the song anyway and so I just sang thirty seconds and then to hear a pop song from me and so I just sang “Chandelier” by Sia and it went really well and I guess they really liked me.

Then I found out a couple days later that I made it into the competition.

Q: Did you think you would make it to the final round?

No, I actually did not. I finished my first song and I felt not completely discouraged because it went well, but it wasn’t completely satisfying just because nerves kicked in and it takes a toll on your performance.

There’s also the factor that there were also nine other people competing against me and they were all so talented so that kind of got in my head and so I just thought, “at least I got to perform one song on that stage.”

And then they announced the top 3 and I was one of them and I kind of lost it.

Q: What did you sing for your last performance? Was it significant to you?

I sang “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables which is another musical theatre’s song. I actually was just practicing that song, before I even knew I was going to audition this year, with a voice teacher for a competition that I’m doing this month actually. And I thought, “I already know the song. Why not audition with it?” It’s such a great piece anyway.

Q: Are you more confident as a singer?

Yes it’s made me more confident, definitely. Going into it at first , of course I wanted to win but in the back of my mind I felt like I wasn’t going to because it was my first competition ever and there were seniors in the competition.

I didn’t really feel like I would win it, and then I made it to the top three and thought, “Wow, I can totally win this.”

I went in with low expectations, and I just wanted to have a good time. I just wanted to go through this experience with the best attitude I could and develop relationships and friendships with the other contestants which I totally did.

So yeah I just wanted to have a good time and in the top three I had this realization that I could win and I ended up winning. It’s definitely made me more confident as a singer and as a performer.

Q: Has this helped you determine whether you want to pursue a music career?

Definitely , throughout this past year especially I kind of was on the edge deciding whether I wanted to do that since it’s such a difficult industry to be apart of. But now that I made it into the competition and that I won, it’s made me rethink that. It’s a dream.

Q: How was your experience with teen star? Did you make new friends?

Yes, my experience was once in a lifetime and it was so cool. I got to work with Kenny Loggins, he was a mentor and he was a judge which was incredible. I got this one on one time with Kenny and I got to work on my two songs, it was crazy. The other nine, including the two alternates were all so kind hearted that you would think that going into a competition people would be really reserved and not want to talk that much but going to rehearsals everyone was so nice and it was great.

Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring performers?

Follow your heart. I know it sounds really cliche but especially in this experience when I was doubtful of what songs I would choose to please the audience or the producers, I deep down wanted to stay true to who I am and I did that. And that got me the win so that really is the best advice that I could give.

Photo credit: Meghan Montgomery
Nolan Montgomery (center) after being announced the winner of Teen Star 2017

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10 Questions with the Teen Star Winner