Four high school seniors won Chester County Choral Society’s 23rd Excellence in Vocal Performance Competition, held on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli.

Tenor Abu Akki from Unionville High School earned the first place award of $1,000.

“Abu has a beautiful, distinctive voice,” his voice teacher, Alan Wagner says. Beginning with the Kennett Symphony Children’s Chorus, Abu has sung with premier choruses at the local, state and national level. Abu will be featured as Tony in “West Side Story” at UHS in March.

Jordan Avellino, soprano, from Collegium Charter School in Exton, received the second place, $500 prize.

“My dream is to perform in operas, concerts and eventually on Broadway,” says Jordan. She studies with Cal Brackin, who commends her “musicianship and motivation.” Jordan is the lead in “Cinderella!” this spring at Collegium Center Stage.

“I enjoy singing anywhere,” says Sam Duffey, baritone, co-winner of the $250 third prize. A senior at Westtown, Sam has been featured in choral and theater groups, and currently stars in “Pippin.” “An excellent, all-round student,” his vocal teacher, Sara Jane Duffey writes.

Marisa Maxwell from Kennett High School also placed third, earning a $250 prize. She is considered a “top soprano at KHS,” her teacher, Patti Mancuso, says. Marisa particularly enjoys musical theatre and is featured as Laurey in KHS’s “Oklahoma!” this spring.

The Vocal Competition recognizes, promotes and rewards the achievement of young singers. Since 2010, the Honorable Charles B. Smith has been a competition co-sponsor.

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