Carmel High School grad wins CarmelFest Has Talent division
By Mark Ambrogi
For Taylor Bickett, the CarmelFest Has Talent competition seemed like a good tune-up for the Songbook Academy.
Bickett, who graduated from Carmel High School in May, was announced as one of 40 Songbook Academy finalists May 31. The Songbook Academy, an intensive program, closes with Songbook Youth Ambassador selection July 22 at Carmel’s Palladium.
“Just any singing experience I could get and the fact all my friends were able to come,” Bickett said of her reasons for entering the show. “They were super supportive.”
Bickett captured the 18-and-older competition July 4 at the Gazebo Stage at CarmelFest.
“The competition was so tough,” Bickett said. “I was amazed at how talented everyone was.”
Bickett sang “Rise Up” by Andra Day, both in the semifinals July 3 and the finals July 4.
“We sang it in Ambassadors and I had the solo with it, and I just loved it,” said Bickett, who had previously performed in CarmelFest Has Talent in the 12-and-under division.
Bickett said she felt confident after her song.
“It was definitely a good performance,” she said.
Bickett earned $500 for the victory.
“It’s all going to go towards college,” said Bickett, who will plans to major in commercial music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Jake Venable was second and Kiara Price third in 18-and-older division. Both are Indianapolis residents.
Meg Meredith Robinson, Plymouth, won the 12-and-under division, followed by Ruby Schoette, Indianapolis, in second and Lauren Sciaudone, Westfield, in third. Breanne Jaffe, Indianapolis, was the ages 13 to 17 division winner, followed by Peter Fulton, Fishers, and Irene Marzke, Fishers.
Fulton, who will be a junior at Colonial Christian School in Indianapolis this, fall, had auditioned for talent show, but was made it for the first time.
“It’s fun and there’s money,” said Fulton, who earned $250 for second.
Third place finishers took home $100.
Chris Lewis, who has help direct the show along with his wife Kelly since 2014, said the performances were the best he could remember.
“In all three categories, the judges said it was within a point or half-point in some cases between first, second and third. It was very close,” said Becca Wickman, who also helped to run the show.