Katie Ann Mayhew on to Boston Pops finals
Katie Ann Mayhew of West Tisbury is one of three finalists in the Boston Pops High School Sing-Off competition. She was chosen after singing with the orchestra at Boston's Symphony Hall last Wednesday night. She will perform in the final round of the sing-off at a Pops concert at Symphony Hall on Tuesday, July 1. The winner will be guest soloist with the Pops at their annual Fourth of July celebration concerts on July 3 and July 4 at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade.
Ms. Mayhew, a regional high school sophomore, said she was a little nervous before taking the stage. "My heart was pounding, but it was really fun," she said this morning in a cell phone conversation from off-Island. "I was more excited than nervous."
She said she was surprised when she was chosen. "I really didn't know what was going to happen because everyone did so well."
Ms. Mayhew sang "Being Alive" by Stephen Sondheim, her favorite Broadway composer.
According to an e-mail report from her mother, Deborah Mayhew, Ms. Mayhew, wearing a full-length burgundy gown, sang to a packed house and received a number of enthusiastic compliments after the concert.
"The audience just loved her . . . as did the orchestra, and Brian Stokes Mitchell himself (the headliner, a very famous Broadway star), made a special point of finding her after the show and telling her how wonderful she was, and what a delightfully unassuming person she is. Several orchestra members told her they would love to have her come solo with them again."
Ms. Mayhew was one of 22 student musicians selected in May on the basis of audition DVDs from an initial pool of approximately 200 entrants from schools all across the state. The students performed at Symphony Hall accompanied by Pops pianist Peter Mansfield on June 2, after which six semi-finalists were chosen. The competitors sang with the Pops this week on June 17 and 18, with three performing each night.
Ms. Mayhew and her fellow high school competitors received a number of warm accolades from Tom Finneran, former Speaker of the House, during his Thursday morning talk show on WRKO radio.
The other finalists are Milton Academy's Samara Oster, and a quintet that included Adam Randall, Meghan Ryan, and Michael Ryan from Braintree High School and Brianna Shetler and Kirsten Shetler from North Quincy High.
The judges for the competition were Neil Donohoe, chairman and Director of the Theater Division of The Boston Conservatory, and Tom Vignieri, Music Producer of "From the Top."