Wicklow Vocalist is Named Semi-Finalist in International Contest

11 year-old Niamh Smith from Roundwood has been named as a Semi-Finalist ia a International Song Contest.

Niamh who is a pupil at St.Patrick’s Primary School in Bray was named as a Semi-Finalist on Friday by the Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center in the United States following her performance of “Stepsister’s Lament“.

The contest was created in 2021 by OHMTEC Board Member and Music Educator, Jaime Rogers, in response to the challenges of teaching virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rogers stated, “I created this contest as a way to create a safe and valuable performance experience for young people who were unable to publicly share their talents during the isolation of the COVID19 pandemic. Although many of us have been able to return to public performances in some capacity, the value of educating our next generation of performers and theatre consumers about Oscar Hammerstein II’s lyrics and legacy remains; not to mention the immense joy we all share at viewing these wonderful and talented young singers perform his songs with such poise and passion.”

This year’s contest boasts singers from all over the world and most of the United States. Winners of the contest will earn cash prizes, a voice lesson with Broadway and American Idol veteran, Justin Guarini, and the opportunity to perform their winning song in Oscar Hammerstein’s living room at Highland Farm. Winners who are willing to make the trip, will also be invited to perform during the cocktail hour at an upcoming gala hosted by the non-profit, featuring Broadway talent.

The Oscar Hammerstein Museum and Theatre Education Center has been raising funds to support the non-profit’s ongoing vision to secure the Highland Farm property and realize the dream of a museum and theatre education center on the site of Oscar Hammerstein’s home, where he penned The Sound of Music, Carousel, The King and I, Oklahoma! and South Pacific. It is also the place where Hammerstein mentored a young Stephen Sondheim, and where he contributed to society by increasing our awareness of social issues and the need for tolerance of diversity.

Fundraising success will allow the non-profit to secure, renovate, and preserve Highland Farm, the Hammerstein property located at 70 East Road in the heart of Doylestown, PA, and convert the home and barn into a museum and theatre education center. The initial fundraising target, which will secure the property and ensure its preservation into the future, has been set at $2 million.

Donations of any amount are welcome and can be made by check, credit card or appreciated securities. Special naming opportunities are also available. Please contact Treasurer Christine Junker for details at cjunker.ohmtec@gmail.com .

To contribute to the effort to #SaveOscarsHome, please visit www.HammersteinMuseum.org.

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