Les Young, of Austin, auditions Jo Karge, 24, from Killeen, at try-outs for "Temple's Got Talent" at the Cultural Activities Center in Temple last week. Karge won her audition and will perform onstage Friday at the show, a fundraiser for the nonprofit center.

Courtesy photo

They’ve been through the auditions, and now singers from young to old will perform their winning song in a live show at Temple’s Cultural Activities Center this evening for “Temple’s Got Talent.”

“This show is not a competition,” said musical director Les Young, “but our singers did have to try out on stage, so we’d be sure to present a professional quality production.”

Jo Karge, Diedre Roberson and Tara Manning, all from Killeen, successfully auditioned and will be featured in the show.

The event is a fundraiser for the nonprofit center, with ticket sales designated for CAC children’s programs. The idea, according to Young, is to showcase emerging talent. “We knew that there were great undiscovered vocalists in the Central Texas area, and sure enough, that’s what we’ll have performing live on Friday.”

The repertoire covers several genres, Young said. “We have some oldies, patriotic numbers, songs from Broadway, brand-new tunes — and one of our performers will be singing her own original composition.”

The attraction of the Mayborn Auditorium is significant, said Steve Pettit, producer of the show. “There’s a true legacy and history that surrounds this theater,” he said. “From past performances by the Alvin Ailey dance company to Michael Martin Murphy’s show a couple of months ago — and then there’s the actual Steinway grand piano that Van Cliburn personally dedicated at the CAC. It’s thrilling for our singers to step out on this stage.”

CAC’s longtime technical director Byron Lovelace will oversee the lighting and sound, and today’s show may be the first in a series, according to CAC marketing director Jane Boone. “We are considering another vocal show, plus a general variety ‘Temple’s Got Talent,’ open to dancers, instrumentalists and other variety acts,” she said.

Despite a few pre-show jitters, Pettit considers the performing experience invaluable for nascent talent. “The benefits of singing live, on this stage, are tremendous,” he said. “It builds self-confidence as well as self-esteem, and where else do you get to sign autographs after your solo?”

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