Milton Arts Council officially announced the winners for the inaugural "Milton's Got Talent" competition.
Cambridge High School Graduating Senior Kendall Warner, 18, won the 18 and older category.
Jordan Thorne, 16 and a rising junior at Milton High School, was selected as the winner in the under 18.
Open exclusively to Milton residents, the first competition drew 27 entrants, with 11 electing to attend the formal auditions.
Individual performances were recorded at SoundLab Music Studios, the presenting sponsor, for the contest, a judging panel of music professionals selected Mason Fletcher, Ryan Super, Jordan Thorne, Kendall Warner and Christina Young as finalists.
The finalists' video-taped performances were then shared with the community, who could vote for their favorite via the SoundLab Music Studios YouTube channel.
The performance in each category with the most “likes” during the voting period was selected the winner.
“Our goal was to showcase the incredible musical talent we have here in Milton, while increasing awareness about the importance of the arts in Milton," said Milton Arts Council President Bill Purdie.
“With more than 7,000 community views and votes on YouTube, we're extremely proud of this inaugural effort and look forward to exploring other ways to showcase the arts in Milton,” said Purdie.
Both winners, Thorne and Warner, and other finalists will be the opening acts for Milton's Beach Bash with A1A at Milton's Bell Memorial Park on June 16.
Thorne will also perform as part of Milton's Memorial Day Ceremony at Freedom Park on May 28, singing the National Anthem and God Bless America.
“Music has always been a huge part of my life from the moment I could talk. At 11 years old, I started playing the guitar, and recently taught myself to play piano,” said Thorne, 16.
Thorne described the competition as “a great experience.”
“I loved seeing other Milton residents expressing their talents,” she said.
Warner has “lived in Milton since before it was called Milton.”
He described “the chance to represent my community with my love for singing and performing was an opportunity of a lifetime.”
“I'm looking forward to attending Tennessee State University in the fall, where I plan to continue performing in the choir and the theater program,” he said.
According to MAC Board Member and SoundLab Music Studios Owner Bob Stewart, the original plan was to host a stand-alone concert finale for the winners. When the city offered to have the winners perform on stage at Beach Bash, the council opted for that.
“When the City offered us the chance to put our winners on a professional stage in front of the Milton community, it was an opportunity we couldn't pass up," said Stewart.
He recalled “last year's Beach Bash drew more than 1,300 attendees on a rainy evening, so we’re looking forward good weather and an even larger audience to showcase our winners this year.”
More information about the newly formed Milton Arts Council is available at email@example.com.
Milton Beach Bash is from 6 to 10 p.m. at Bell Memorial Park, 15245 Bell Park Road on June 16.
More information is available at www.cityofmiltonga.us/events/1268/beach-bash-at-bell/.