MOUNT VERNON — Singers, dancers, musicians and others had their chance to shine on the big stage recently when talent from all across central Ohio converged on the Columbus Convention Center for a shot on a nationwide stage. It was a beehive of activity as young and old alike gathered to showcase their talents and earn a chance to compete in the national television show “America’s Got Talent.”
Competing against literally hundreds of other contestants in the two-day preliminary event was 14-year-old Sydney Tilmant of Mount Vernon. An eighth grader at Mount Vernon Middle School, she is the daughter of Hallie Logan, and Joel and Stefany Tilmant. “I wasn’t really freaking out, though,” said Sydney, who admitted she was a little nervous at her audition.
Sydney took up singing as early as age 4. “I’ve got pictures of her all dressed up when she was little,” said Joel Tilmant, who accompanied Sydney at the audition. “She wanted to be ‘Sydney Spears.’ She has been singing constantly since she was 4.”
Her singing talents were then taken public when she began performing in her school’s talent show in third grade. At age 7, Sydney entertained guests karaoke-style on a Disney cruise ship.
Vocal training honed Sydney’s singing talent when she was enrolled at Columbus Children’s Theater Academy over two summers. Private vocal lessons were also taken through an instructor at Otterbein College for four years. Since then, singing has been something Sydney would like to consider pursuing as a profession.
Listening to the radio one day, Sydney heard an advertisement about “America’s Got Talent” conducting auditions in Columbus. “I thought, ‘Yah, I guess I’ll try out for that,’” she said. Alternative and blues are her favorite styles of music, noting that a couple of her favorite artists are Adelle and Amy Winehouse.
Talking to her friends about auditioning for “America’s Got Talent” helped convince Sydney she wanted to travel to the Saturday auditions; getting the OK from her father made it official. It was a long, nine-hour process of filling out paperwork and waiting for her turn to audition.
“It was amazing. I felt famous,” said Sydney upon entering the Columbus Convention Center. “There were TV cameras everywhere and huge banners for ‘America’s Got Talent.’ You could just walk around and sit down with a band and start jamming out and singing with them.”
One judge and one camera operator comprised the panel when it was Sydney’s turn to sing. A video was made of each performance which will then be reviewed to determine who will be selected to compete in future competitions. Sydney’s song choice was “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. “I have a very jazzy, deep voice; and Amy Winehouse has the same kind of voice,” said Sydney about the reason for her song selection.
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