After spending untold days sitting in the basement and listening through all 750+ talent submissions — and yes, we listened to all of them — we chose six finalists for this year's talent show.
Thanks to everyone who participated in our Duet Singing Contest!
MaMuse (Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker)
As MaMuse, Sarah Nutting and Karisha Longaker have performed their songs across the country and back again to home base in Chico, California. Complementing their harmonies with guitar, mandolin, ukulele, and flutes, Sarah and Karisha like to say that MaMuse is "what a meadow would sound like if it could sing."
Molly Tuttle and Jack Tuttle
Palo Alto, CA
For Molly Tuttle and her father, Jack Tuttle, music has always been a part of family life. It seems that everyone in the Tuttle clan is a gifted instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. Molly is currently a student at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. Jack teaches bluegrass music back home in Palo Alto, California.
The Half Step Sisters (Katie Burk and Julia Conway)
Indianapolis, Indiana, duo Katie Burk and Julia Conway call themselves The Half Step Sisters. With Katie on fiddle and guitar, and Julia on mandolin and ukulele, they first joined musical forces in 2004 to develop their own take on the folk and acoustic roots music they both love.
Ray Marklund Award
Arnaé Batson and Tim McAfee-Lewis
Los Angeles, CA
Combine Arnaé Batson's four-octave range that shimmers with soul and passion with the magnetic, energetic vocals of Tim McAfee-Lewis and the sum is even greater than the parts. Batson is a member of the Agape International Choir in Los Angeles, California. McAfee-Lewis is associate director for that group.
Avenue Elle (Alison Lumley and Chrissie Natoli)
Alison Lumley and Chrissie Natoli met on the first day of school at the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, Texas. They soon discovered that they both had an interest in the arts as well as science. Calling their musical collaboration Avenue Elle, the two have been gathering fans in the Lone Star State since 2003.
Kaija and Brian Bonde
Sioux Falls, SD
Kaija and Brian Bonde first met at an audition at the Community Playhouse in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Now, more than 25 years later, they are the parents of four kids and founders of Comfort Theatre Company in Sioux Falls. They also perform regularly with their band, East of Westreville.