Most of the finalists are pictured above: high school band AllMost Canadian

Orcas Has Talent finalists to compete TOMORROW

The auditions for Orcas Has Talent last Saturday ended with eight contestants/groups winning a “Golden Ticket” to compete at the finale show on Feb. 4.

The finalists are: high school band AllMost Canadian, Al Bentley on saxophone, Carl Burger on guitar, children’s acoustic string group Ceolinas led by Pamela Wirght and singers KT Laslo, Marissa Veldman, Maura Pelleteri and Rhiannon Lawson.

During the finale show, the performers have a chance to win a grand prize of $500. Magician Matthew Laslo-White, winner of the Orcas Has Talent junior contest, will also compete.

The show at Orcas Center on Feb. 4 starts at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are on sale at Darvill’s Books now. Adults are $25, youth $15 (ages 12 and under). Tickets for general seating often sell out, so live streaming video will once again be offered in the Madrona Room. For questions, email

The competition opened with the children’s acoustic strings group Ceolinas on “Pirates of the Caribbean.” High schooler Kelsey Whitaker sang “Someone Like You” with determination and passion. Veteran performer Burger on his acoustic guitar busted out witty and satirical “Garbage,” a warning of the doom awaiting a planet inundated in refuse of all kinds.

Poised newcomer Pelleteri sang and played a piece of her own composition on keyboard. Veldman appeared as a dark-eyed angel in a feathery white dress to rivet the crowd with Leonard Cohen’s melancholy “Hallelujah.”

2008 Orcas Idol winner Jason Kraayeveld sang the simple and sweet “You are so beautiful.” Lawson nailed the high notes in “Part of Your World,” projecting wide-eyed innocence and theatrical stage presence as the Little Mermaid. True to Fuji, a mandolin, guitar and drum trio, performed a mellow original piece.

AllMost Canadian performed “Forget You,” with energetic lead singer Julia Bailey boogying down on stage. Michaud Savage on guitar entertained the audience wearing a wild, colorful outfit and sporting an enormous fur hat.

Josh Bronn had the audience howling with laughter as he hammed it up in a white tee shirt, blue jeans and cowboy duds on “Ladies Love Country Boys,” showing off his biceps and deep bass voice. Shawna L. Watson on guitar belted out “Shadows.”

Rene Sturk and Bereniece Arevalo danced their own high-energy, playful choreography to “Wepa.” Guitarist Zach Coddington-Edwardson quietly stole the show with his skillfully executed, mellow and soulful rendition of “Collide.”

Carlyn Wehle sang “Landslide,” dazzling the judges with her cascades of glimmering earrings and accompanying herself on guitar. Bentley on saxophone performed B-flat Boogie with cheeky volunteer Savage standing in on percussion for tuba player Matthew “Wally” Wallrath, absent due to a missed ferry. Laslo shimmered and dazzled in pink satin as she performed “Valerie.”