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Local performers show off artistic abilities at Happy Valley’s Got Talent

Anna-Pearl Belinda performs her own piece, “Wholeheartedly,” in the Rising Stars category of the show.
Anna-Pearl Belinda performs her own piece, “Wholeheartedly,” in the Rising Stars category of the show. CDT photo

It wasn’t an electrical percussion sound coming from the green room of the State Theatre on Saturday afternoon.

It was actually Penn State student Tim Lasher, 21, who was practicing his beatboxing with None of the Above — a student-formed a cappella group that performed at the fourth annual Happy Valley’s Got Talent competition.

Lasher, who’s been beatboxing since the seventh grade, was one of nine group members who performed at Saturday’s event.

He was also the vocal percussion winner at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella last year.

None of the Above performed “ If You Could Only See” by Tonic to applause from the crowd.

“We’re just a group of people with varying backgrounds and not a specific music background,” Lasher said. “We’re just in a category of differences.”

“We’re bright and energetic, and come from all walks of life, which is probably why we’re called None of the Above,” added alto Alexa St. Martin, 20.

Happy Valley’s Got Talent is the signature fundraising event for Tides — a Centre Region-based grief and loss support program, said Executive Director Suzanne Thompson.

This year, the goal was to reach or exceed $30,000 from ticket sales and a reception, said talent show producer Jerry Sawyer. Last year, the show raised about $27,000.

Sawyer added that Koch Funeral Home, to celebrate its 100th year in business, agreed to match money raised up to $50,000.

“It’s an all-encompassing community event with help from everywhere and talent from across the valley,” Sawyer said.

The performances included singing, dancing and instrumental numbers, with kids as young as 12 in the Future Fame category to veterans in a category called Prime Time.

The 12 performers were selected after a two-day audition earlier this month at Indigo from among 42 others.

Sawyer said that nearly every contestant this year had experience performing on-stage.

With six years of piano lessons, but no professional vocal lessons, State College Area High School student Anna-Pearl Belinda, 16, performed an original vocal and piano solo called “Wholeheartedly.”

This was her second time in the competition. In 2012, she performed another original called “Daddy’s Little Girl.”

And the nerves didn’t get to her.

“I’m used to performing and really love it,” she said. “You’re among so many other (talented) locals, and it’s been a lot of fun.”

In December, Belinda was one of six Americans to participate in the Route 40 Music Festival in South Africa. Youth from across the world entered the festival as a way to enhance their singing and songwriting skills, and were judged by musician Dave Matthews, who is from Johannesburg.

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