12 will vie to win $1,000 in Bennington County's Got Talent


BENNINGTON — Ten individual performers and two local bands will compete to win $1,000 next Sunday in the second annual Bennington County's Got Talent competition presented by the Bennington Banner and Manchester Journal.

Following a successful first year last December, emcees Matt Harrington of the Chamber of Commerce and Mike Cutler of CAT-TV will introduce contestants and provide commentary on the performances for the second year in a row.

Harrington says that when he was approached by Newspapers of New England to return as co-emcee, he didn't hesitate before saying yes.

"Bennington's Got Talent is fun, plain and simple," said Harrington. "We're here to celebrate the wealth of talent that comes from Bennington. Young and old, country singing or baton twirling; doesn't matter!"

Executive Director for Bennington County Coalition for the Homeless Chris Oldham, classical guitarist Eric Despard, conductor Thomas Toscano, and President and co-founder of Manchester Designer Outlets Lana Hauben will act as judges, while the audience will act as a fifth judge by voting for their favorite talent at the end of the show.

Performers who hope to take home the prize are: Jordyn Travis, Maria Duffany, Jason Dansby, Timothy Wade, Abby Lively, Rich Levesque, Gretchen Sausville, Maddison Morse, Taylor Hewins, Daniel Stevens, and two bands: Vice Versa, Pavlov's Dogs. Talents range from singing to guitar playing, to circus performing.

"We started this event last year and we weren't sure how it would go," said Advertising Manager Susan Plaisance, of the Banner. "We were so happy to see the amount of talent in Bennington County, we decided to make this an annual event. Last year was such a great show, we are looking forward to the same enthusiasm and excitement as last year."

Bennington Subaru is sponsoring the event, while Southern Vermont College, Heritage Family Credit Union, and RK Miles are cornerstone sponsors.

The event is at the Laumeister Art Center of Southern Vermont College, 44  Gypsy Lane,  Bennington from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16.

Tickets can be purchased online at benningtonscountygt.eventbrite.com or by calling 800-245-0254.

"This is a great event during the holiday season to bring all different kinds of folks together to celebrate what Bennington has to offer," Harrington said.

Christie Wisniewski can be reached at cwisniewski@benningtonbanner.com and at 802-447-7567, ext. 111.


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