Valley voices take the stage
FORT KENT– The police department received a call on Friday night because so many people were at the regional Northern Star competition at the University of Maine at Fort Kent that they were parking illegally along the street and passing cars were unable to squeeze between the lines of vehicles.
Three finalists and a singing group led the collection of entertainers who performed at the Fort Kent competition, and they will challenge other top entertainers in the final show at the Caribou Performing Arts Center this Sunday.
Local singers Indya Ouellette, 15, of Madawaska and Emily Marin, 12, of Fort Kent kept the house on the edge of their seats, and the The Triplets took the top spot in the new group category. The Triplets is made up of Naomi and Nokomi Ouellet, both 15, and 13-year-old Ariane Richard of Clair, all from Lac Baker, New Brunswick.
Judges also chose Megan Ouellette, 19, of Clair, New Brunswick.
Marin sang “Breathe” by Taylor Swift, Indya Ouellette sang Loretta Lynne's “You Ain't Woman Enough,” and Megan Ouellette sang “Many the Miles” by Sarah Bereilles. The Triplets belted out Selena Gomez' “Love You Like a Love Song.”
Local Judge Scott Voisine wrote on FaceBook, “The St. John Valley brought it on last night with all the talent at Northern Star.”
In a phone interview, he said, “The Valley always brings really great talent to these things.”The top singers from the Fort Kent competition will challenge other talented people from Aroostook County for the title of Northern Star on March 25 at the Caribou Performing Arts Center at 2 p.m.
Beth Marin, mother of contestant Emily Marin, encouraged people from the St. John Valley on both sides of the river to attend the finale in Caribou to cheer on their local talent.
Claudia Stevens, executive director of United Way Aroostook, said, “This is the best of the best.”
The next competition will include nine individuals and three groups. The audience makes the decision on who becomes the Northern Star by casting ballots.
The Northern Star has carried that name since 2011, when the United Way of Aroostook changed the name of the competition from Aroostook Idol. Since 2005, local entertainers aged 12 and above have competed in three regional competitions before bringing their talent to the finale in Caribou.
All proceeds, which averages about $25,000, go directly to United Way of Aroostook’s annual campaign.
Stevens said, “The ultimate reason that we are involved in this is because the funds raised will help fund 21 agencies and programs from Aroostook County that help the neediest people from Allagash to Benedicta.”