Hinsdale talent to be on display at DuPage County Fair
Will Fischer from Hinsdale tries out for the 11th Annual Amateur talent contest for the DuPage County Fair. | Jerry Daliege~for Sun-Times Media
Kate Melvin and Ben Fischer perform in Talent Contest Finals at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 28 in the Ag-Ventureland Tent at the DuPage County Fair in Wheaton
Winners in each age division receive $125 for first place, $100 for second, $75 for third, $50 for fourth and $25 for fifth place.
First place winners will represent the DuPage County Fair at the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs talent contest in Springfield next January.
Updated: August 20, 2012 6:20AM
Two Hinsdale singers have advanced to the finals of the DuPage County Fair Talent Competition. Will Fischer, 16, and Kate Melvin, 11, competed in two separate age categories during the auditions that were held Sunday at the county fairgrounds in Wheaton.
“I decided I wanted to audition with the song ‘Hallelujah’ by Leonard Cohen,” Fischer said. “I looked online and watched other people sing ‘Hallelujah.’ I studied their emotion while singing and learned how to portray my own emotion.”
Fischer isn’t new to the DuPage County Fair. This is actually his second year competing. Last year Fischer sang “Black Bird” by the Beatles.
“Last year was a cool experience,” Fischer said. “The audition alone is cool because it isn’t in a small private room, you actually audition in a big auditorium. People sit and watch you, so it doesn’t even feel like an audition.”
Three judges watch everyone perform and then they talk for about 10 minutes before they pull all the contestants up on stage and read off the names of those who will compete at the county fair.
Fischer, who is competing in the senior category for people 15 through 21 years old, has been taking voice training since he was in the fifth grade with Jan Mochelle.
“Jan is the best. I am playing Cinderella’s father in BAMtheatre’s upcoming musical production ‘Into the Woods,’ and Jan will definitely come see it. She is just that kind of person. She cares about each and every student she teaches,” says Fischer.
Into the Woods is one of many BAMtheatre productions Fischer has done over the years.
“I love BAMtheatre. I have a lot of friends there and the shows are very professional. I get to work with a lot of college kids who have a lot of experience,” says Fischer.
Fischer also has been in musical productions for the past two years at Hinsdale Central High School, and has auditioned for America’s Got Talent and The Voice as well.
“I am always on the lookout for different auditions,” explains Fischer, “I am not afraid of rejection. The more experience I get, the better I will be. My philosophy is to keep auditioning even if you have a slim chance because you never know when you might make it big.”
Fischer and other contestants will compete in the finals at the county fair Saturday, July 28.
“I chose a song everyone knows this year, I have to do it justice,” says Fischer, “If it falls short everyone will know. I have put a lot of thought and practice into it, I hope it goes well.”
Kate Melvin, who will start Clarendon Hills Middle School in the fall, will compete in the junior divisions for ages 14 and younger. She has been singing at Daisy Days festivals and recitals and since she was 5.
“I love to perform,” Kate said.
Like a seasoned trouper, she knows the show must go on. Kate passed her audition, singing Christina Aguilera’s hit, “Hurt,” even though she had a bad cough she picked up during the previous week at summer camp.
“We are very proud of her,” Kate’s mother Elizabeth Melvin said.
Kate said she chose “Hurt” because “it shows my vocal quality and range and it’s fun to sing.” She will sing the same song in the finals and is practicing 35 to 40 minutes everyday.
“I really want to be a performer and perform around the world for everyone,” she said.
She got encouragement from this year’s ten “American Idol” finalists whom she met at the American Idol Live! concert in the Allstate Arena July 7. At their request, she sang for them.
Their reaction, Kate said, was “Oh, she’s so good.”