Sparta music school shines in county competitions

Elisa Girlando Studios has plenty of talent

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  • Back row, from left: Natalie Torres, Amelya Race, Sammy Perez, Elisa Girlando (teacher) Tessa Gori and Lilly Ahrendt. In front, Evelina (teacher's daughter) and Mia Sanchez. Photo provided

  • Team Girlando at a competition

— Elisa Girlando, owner of Elisa Girlando Studios located on Apple Tree Lane in Sparta, has been entering her students into the Sussex County’s Got Talent Show since 2014. From the beginning, Elisa’s students have won 1st place every year. In 2014, Kelly Wask stole the show singing country classics and won 1st place. The following year, in 2015, Cassidy Walsh wowed the audience with her big voice and piano playing and won 1st place. In 2016 Ryden Mederos’s powerful and emotional take on iconic songs won 1st place. Then, in 2017, Ava Mederos showed the judges her incredible range and won 1st place.

This year, the talent show was restructured and broken down into age group divisions, which created some additional pressure for the performers. Each division consisted of extremely talented performers throughout Sussex County. Although the competition was fierce, on Saturday, August 11th, “Team Girlando” (a nickname given to her students) came out on top once again.

The lineup is as follows: In the First Division, Elisa’s youngest student, Mia Sanchez (age 7) received 2nd place and Natalie Torres (age 11) won 1st! In the Second Division, Jenna Halkyard placed 3rd and Izabella Nowicki won 1st. In the Third Division, student Owen Welsh took 3rd, Amelya Race took 2nd, and Samantha Perez took 1st. Finally, In the Adult Division, Nina Strowe won 1st place.

To continue the winning streak, Elisa Girlando's students recently competed in the Sussex County Idol Competition on September 16th and won all three spots. Third place went to Mia Sanchez, second place went to Sammy Perez and first place went Amelya Race.

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