Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa
Julia Campoli is a 21-year-old who graduated from Elkhart Christian Academy in 2012 and is now attending Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana, majoring in elementary education. She will graduate from Bethel College in 2018. In high school, she was involved with the worship team, choir, track and field, and volleyball. In college, she is on the praise and worship team for chapel. She has also been serving as a worship leader for two and half years at New Creation Fellowship and sang on the praise and worship team for Bristol United Methodist Church. She loves to serve and has been on three missions trips, to Kathmandu, Nepal, the Dominican Republic and she just returned from a trip to Guatemala in July. During these trips, she helped served many people and was able to use her gifts and love for singing and piano playing in different ways. She has loved singing since before she can remember and always has a tune in her head, frequently singing at random. She took 13 years of piano lessons, performing at many recitals. Now she loves to sit at the piano, playing and singing for hours on end. She has written a few songs and performed them for different people, schools, and churches. She is so excited and blessed with this amazing opportunity to be a part of 2017’s Hoosier STAR competition. Julia is from South Bend, Indiana and works as a waitress at Granite City.
Stormi Staggers graduated from La Porte High School in 2008 and attended Morgan State University, studying biology. She has lived in La Porte, Indiana her whole life and is proud to be the daughter of James and Jayme L. Staggers, who raised her and her four brothers.
Stormi currently works at Blue Chip Casino as a Supervisor of Hotel and was the winner of Blue Chip Casino has Talent in 2016 as well as the Boyd Gaming Entertainer of the Year. “Music is the counterpart and source of my joy. Without it, life would b flat .”
Susan & Jim Aaron
Turn Up the Lights, Arts in the Park
Joe Stewart is a 29-year-old from La Porte who currently resides in Michigan City. Heavily involved in music while a student at La Porte High School, Joe went on to hold membership in various bands and choirs at Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana, until he graduated with a BA in English literature in 2010.
Joe is a member of the First United Methodist Church in Michigan City, the “Monday Musicale” music club, and works as a substitute teacher for La Porte Community Schools and as a server at Galveston Steakhouse. His free time is spent playing the piano, performing at community events and restoring his century-old Michigan City home.
Laura Whidden grew up in a home where her momma was a music teacher, and her daddy was a preacher. Her mom taught her how to sing, and her daddy always invited her to sing in church. Laura’s family moved to Michiana her freshman year in high school, and even though she has lived in Colorado and Oregon, Michiana is still home. She now lives in Berrien Springs, MI with her husband and 11 yr. old daughter. Laura enjoys singing in churches and cafes sharing her music with all who will listen and has been a finalist for Michiana’s Rising Star! One of Laura’s strongest values is supporting the work of fellow artists, so she is honored to collaborate with the community as everyone affirms and furthers the work of the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra.
The Liquor Vault
Newby Lewis Kaminski & Jones, LLP
Purdue Federal Credit Union
Evan Wooding has been performing since the bright lights of the delivery room. Born in La Porte County, and an Indiana resident all his life, Evan has sung in school talent nights and vocal ensembles. He is a La Porte High School honors graduate of 2010, former Vice President of the student body and an AK Smith Vocational Honor Society Graduate. Evan has received gold level recognition multiple times in the Indiana State School Music Association competition. Dedicated to worship and praise, Evan has been worship and youth pastor for several area congregations and one of the key figures in Fellowship Fest since its beginning. Music isn’t a hobby for Evan; it’s a way of life. Evan took piano lessons from Mary Kay Barkow for eight years. Though he has made his living the past six years at Hair Fitness making La Porte County more beautiful, most recently becoming a Sexy Hair Regional Educator, music has always been a motivating source of comfort and release for Evan. Evan competed in Hoosier STAR as a seventh grader and is delighted to be singing again at the final competition on September 9. His joy could only be greater should he be dubbed your Hoosier STAR tonight.
Bruce & Donna Kessler
Peter’s Fan Club
Saige Brumbaugh is eight years old and a student at Lake Street Elementary School in Crown Point, Indiana. She started asking her mom to take her to singing lessons when she was only three years old. Her mom finally gave in to her relentless requests when Saige was five and she began taking lessons at HGS Studio in Crown Point with Alyssa. Saige’s first performance was at a recital hosted by HGS Studio and she sang “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”. She fell in love with performing for the audience and soon she was going to local talent shows and auditions. She even auditioned for America’s Got Talent and sang “Memory” by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Saige loves all types of music but her favorite by far is classical. She also loves musicals, with Phantom of the Opera and Cats being her favorite. She even went to see Phantom of the Opera last year at the Cadillac Palace which only increased her love for the theater. Saige also enjoys dancing and attends Origins Dance Academy. Recently she expressed an interest in acting and would love to one day perform on Broadway but her ultimate goal is to be just like her favorite singer, Mirusia Louwerse and become an opera singer!
Peter Fulton is a high school junior at Colonial Christian School in Indianapolis, Indiana. In his free time, he likes to draw, sing, play the piano, and work on computer programs. He sang his first solo at the age of seven in a church musical, and he has continued to perform at various musicals and competitions. Peter has appeared multiple times on the television program Nashville Spotlight. Aside from singing as a soloist, Peter also performs as part of a duet under Musicality Arts. His duet with Brielle Cowger received the Grand Champion title for the 2016 Hamilton County 4-H talent show. They had their most memorable performance together singing as a finalist act for last year’s Hoosier STAR competition. It was a great privilege to sing before such a large audience and with such a talented orchestra. As the recipient of last year’s Rising Star award, Peter was pleased to honor the legacy of Joe Mellen. For his second year at Hoosier STAR, he hopes to continue to display friendly and welcoming character while singing his best. Peter would like to thank his family, friends, choir directors, and vocal coaches for their support, and he is grateful to the staff of Hoosier Star for making this event possible. He would also like to thank God for instilling in him a love for music.
Horne’s Hauling & Excavating, LLC
Family & Friends of Victoria
Westville Tri Kappa
Dewey’s Auto Supply, Inc.
Hanna Lions Club
South Central Music Boosters
Agri-Management Solutions, Inc-Brad and Julie Rocke
American Legion #295, Union Mills IN
King Trucking & Excavating
Wainscott Auction Service
Victoria’s life has pretty much revolved around music for as long as she can remember. She has been in many talent shows and competitions, most recently winning the youth division of the Pulse FM Rising Star competition, which allowed her the amazing opportunity to go to Camp Electric, a worship rock and roll music camp in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a junior at South Central High School and has been involved in their drama club for the past four years. She has been in a total of two plays and 11 musicals, her favorite roles being The Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Belle in Beauty and the Beast JR., and Rusty in Footloose the Musical. She is in high school choir, and has participated in regional solo and ensemble competition four times, and the state level twice, with a total of three silver and four gold medals. She also plays piano for her high school’s jazz band, The Jazzonauts, which has helped her discover a love for jazz music. Victoria is very involved with her church youth group at Bethel Valparaiso, where she is the Youth Worship Leader. She would like to thank her youth group leaders for always encouraging her and helping her to be the best leader she can be. She would also like to thank her theatre director, Cortny Barnes, for helping her become more confident with her stage presence, and her piano teacher, Maria Koontz for helping her with everything music related, and teaching her more about music every week. And of course, she thanks her loving family that supports her in everything she does and puts up with her singing all of the time, even if it drives them crazy. In the future, Victoria would like to pursue a career in music education, so she is thrilled to be a part of Hoosier STAR, an event that showcases the importance of music in the community. Victoria is very excited to be singing with The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra because it is a rare and incredible opportunity for her. “If you cannot teach me to fly, teach me to sing.” ―J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Hope Johansen is honored to be a Hoosier STAR Finalist and very excited to be making her debut with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra. She previously performed with the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and the New Philharmonic (Illinois). At age three, Hope was invited to sing the national anthem for the Gary Steelheads, and for Gary Railcats Kids Day at age four. In the last four years, she has earned several recognitions for her singing talent: three gold medals from the Indiana State School Music Association, twice named a winner of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra’s Young People’s Competition and twice named a national qualifier for national musical theatre vocal competitions. She is a member of the Chicago Cabaret Professionals. Since 2010, Hope has performed in more than 10 musicals, including the lead roles in Into the Woods (Lake Central High School, 2017) and Mary Poppins (Hanover Central High School, 2015). She also was the lead actress in The Drama Group’s production of The Philadelphia Story (2014) and Heaven Can Wait (2015). A 17-year-old from Schererville, Indiana, Hope is a Highest Honors student at Lake Central High School (Class of 2018). She plans to study musical theatre in college.
Anderson Agostino Keller, P.C.
Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel
South Bend Civic Theatre
Jarynn Sampson is a 15-year-old freshman at Clay High School in South Bend Community School Corporation’s Fine Arts Magnet Program. She has been singing her whole life, but acting since she was 11, when she was cast in the title role of Annie in her first role at South Bend Civic Theatre. She hasn’t stopped doing shows since! Jarynn is known for her big curly hair and her big belting singing voice to match. One of her favorite songs to sing is the national anthem. She had four years of practice in middle school, singing for countless events at LaSalle Academy. This past year she has sung it for the South Bend Cubs, MS Walk, Turkey Trot, Military Deployment and at a softball game at the University of Notre Dame. Her dream is to one day sing it at the Super Bowl! Jarynn loves singing inspirational songs. She received a standing ovation at the 100 Black Men Gala at the Century Center last November in South Bend and will sing at it again next month. She sang at a Fallen Police Officer Memorial, Hospice Memorial and at a memorial to honor a local Civil Rights Activist. This was Jarynn’s second summer participating in Musical Mission Tour, which is a group of students from various schools who come together to learn a show (this summer is Beauty and the Beast, JR.) and then travel to the east coast, stopping to perform the show for underprivileged children at different summer camps and daycares along the way. Realizing that her voice is a gift from God, she hopes to encourage and inspire others. Jarynn wants to thank God, her family and Hoosier STAR for this amazing opportunity!