Peterborough student impresses with first song in Snofest Idol win

Poise, maturity and one heck of a singing voice won Amy Sarginson the Snofest Idol title.

Sarginson’s jaw dropped when she was announced as the 2017/18 winner at Showplace on Sunday.

Her expression quickly changed to a beaming smile as the nearly 200 audience members cheered boisterously.

Among the crowd were a number of Sarginson’s family, friends and fellow Bridgenorth scout members, who were loudest of the bunch.

The Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School student blew judges away with her first song, Never Enough, from the movie The Greatest Showman. They were astounded to learn the 15-year-old had never taken singing lessons.

The trio of judges included David Goyette, an Examiner columnist and musical advisor to the Peterborough Singers, Whitney Paget, a singer-songwriter and former Snofest Idol winner, and Matt Diamond, a local performer with a background in music production.

With a spotlight illuminating the three judges at a table near the back of the theatre, the Idol format was reminiscent of popular television shows such as American Idol or The Voice.

Judges offered feedback and advice after each of the nine contestants sang their first song.

They then narrowed it down to the top three, who each sang a second song of their choice.

Sarginson chose Opportunity by Sia to bring it home. She accompanied her voice with the piano, one of the many instruments the teenager has mastered.

When asked why she picked that song, Sarginson said it seemed fitting because she was seizing her opportunity to show off her talent.

”This is my moment and I’m trying to take it,” she said.

This was the Grade 10 student’s second kick at the can for Snofest Idol.

Sarginson made it to the finals in the 2016/17 season, but didn’t get into the top three.

The young musician attributes part of her success to the workshops, support and mentoring offered by the Idol program. It helped her find her stage presence and gain confidence.

Goyette, who’s been the head judge for five years, said he’s noticed a big difference in finalists since the workshops were introduced two years ago.

”All of a sudden people seemed to have a lot more confidence,” he said.

Although finalizing second and third place took some discussion, Goyette said there was no debate over Sarginson – she was number one, hands down.

”I think when we announced the winner it was pretty clear that the audience was with us, so I think we made a good choice,” he said.

It Sarginson’s maturity that set her apart, Goyette said.

”It was the maturity of her voice and the maturity of her presentation on stage and she’s a lovely piano player as well,” he said.

While the songstress has never taken singing lessons, she’s sang in a choir since the age of four. She also plays guitar, ukulele, piano, alto jazz and trumpet.

”As soon I got into the Grade 7 music program, I kept learning instruments and it’s just my muse,” Sarginson said.

She’s influenced by Lady Gaga’s music and strength and looks up to Christina Aguilera’s incredible voice.

Winning Snofest Idol after not placing the year before had Sarginson at a bit of a loss for words.

”It’s breathtaking and I’m thankful,” she said.

Second place went to Aimee Gordon, followed by Grace Hatherly in third.

Sarginson took home a cash prize of $300, Gordon won $150 and Hatherly walked away with $100.

The other six finalists this year were Tristan Konkle, 14, Madeline Cockburn-Adams, 15, Rachel Leung, 17, Jaidan Charters, 15, Kaia Martin, 14, and Mary Colton, 17.

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