MARYSVILLE — The Talent Show of the 82nd annual Strawberry Festival saw 11-year-old Marysville resident Victoria Steward take home not only first place in the vocal and piano category for ages 11-12, but also the overall grand prize of the night, for singing and playing the piano to Sarah McLachlan's "Angel."
Steward has been singing in public performances for eight years and playing the piano for four years, although she hastened to add that she's been singing for her own entertainment her whole life.
"My sister had already performed in the Talent Show, so it became my goal to do that too," said Victoria Steward, whose father Gary credited her with a great deal of persistence. "Being able to sing has always been my life's dream."
"She's not afraid to work at it," Gary Steward said of his daughter's singing and piano-playing. "She works very hard at it. She's got a great work ethic."
Rosie Cooper, who's served as Victoria's piano teacher and voice coach for several years, was proud to be in the Talent Show's audience at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School auditorium on Thursday, June 13, when her student scored her big win.
"She is so sweet," Cooper said on June 13. "She's just the best. She deserves everything she's getting tonight."
In the Talent Show's nine other age- and skill-specific categories, first-prize awards went to Lucy Belle Hansen in vocals and dance for ages 5-8, Kennedy Miller in vocals for ages 12-13, Courtney Klawuhn in vocals for ages 13-14, Mandy Henrichsen in vocals and instrumentals for ages 14-17, Brittany Collins in vocals and instrumentals for ages 19 to adult, Dennis Sigler in vocals and instrumentals for ages 20 to adult, and Marvin Fritze in vocals and instrumentals for adults.
First place in dance for ages 5-10 went to Alexa Henkel, Danielle McCullum, Paige Richards, Mila Olason and Maquinna Wahlberg, while first place in vocals and dance for ages 10-13 went to Annalise Munoz, Tori Heisel, Tayler Reefe, Alicia Hawkins, Sadie Barczsyzyn and Abby Hau.