Philadelphia RowHome Magazine presents the 2012 WishRock Award
Chickie Pagano “No dream comes true until you wake up and get to work!” That is the motto of 16-year-old Chickie Pagano, who learned at the early age of 11 that she wanted to be a performer. Beginning in 2008, Pagano began performing at various venues in Philadelphia, Delaware, NYC and LA before crowds as small as our street corners to crowds of 30,000. In 2010, Pagano was awarded a scholarship to the Rage Complex School in Granada Hills, CA, to study acting, singing and dancing. The program was slated during the middle of the school year and Pagano had to forgo the program. She did, however, make an appearance at Rage Complex’s showcase at the famed House of Blues on the Sunset Strip in LA. Pagano also has performed at the Academy of Music, Lincoln Financial Field’s “Head House Plaza”, Citizens Bank Park and the Wells Fargo Center. Music is just one of Pagano’s many talents. She also has performed and starred in many local theater productions including Hairspray and Rent. Most recently, Pagano was selected to perform at the Young People’s Concert Series, hosted by the Mann Music Center. The concert is held in numerous states throughout the US and showcases emerging artists in an effort to encourage other kids to pursue their dreams. The Mann Center also selected Pagano to perform at the Clef Club, where she entertained the Canadian Youth Orchestra. Pagano continues steadily on the road to success. She is currently working on recording tracks for her upcoming CD, in hopes of signing a recording contract in the near future.
Brandon Tomasello Brandon Tomasello was introduced to performing arts at a young age. In the year 2000, Tomasello entered the Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School (PPACS) as a third grade student. It was here that his unique voice was discovered. Shortly after entering PPACS, Tomasello was offered a spot in the prestigious Philadelphia Boys Choir, where he performed on a variety of stages and studied vocal arts under some of the most talented instructors in the city. But it was while he was in the fourth grade that Tomasello had truly found his musical match in Frank Sinatra. His Grandmother was busy fixing dinner and enjoying the music when Tomasello was immediately drawn to the sound. After his first encounter with “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, he was hooked. Tomasello and Grandmother spent countless hours listening to Sinatra as she taught him all about the world of “The Voice”. After graduating from the PPACS in 2006, Tomasello continued to pursue his love of music and the unique sound of Frank Sinatra. He built himself a studio in his grandfather’s office building behind their house and began his own production company, FIMA. It was here that he recorded his first album, “It’s My Time.” In 2011, Tomasello was asked to perform at the Whiskey Bar at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino. His performance immediately caught the eye of the late Resorts President Dennis Gnomes, who decided that Tomasello needed a bigger stage. He was then moved to the 1,600-seat Superstar Theater where he headlined the Sinatra tribute show “Swing, Sing, Sinatra.”
Felicia Punzo Felicia Punzo is well on her way up the ladder of success. At the early age of four, Punzo knew performing would be her life. Currently a sophomore vocal major at the University of the Arts, Punzo has starred in 13 musicals, appeared in several TV commercials and has worked with heavy-hitting mega producers whose credits include Jennifer Lopez and Justin Beiber. And she shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Recently voted “Best Philly Celeb” by the PHL 17 Hot List, 2012 has proven to be a breakout year. An associate member of the Grammy Recording Academy, 19-year-old Punzo was invited to host the reality TV show, Party Rockers Dance Reality Show, filmed at Chickie’s & Pete’s Play 2. When she isn’t focusing on her music, Punzo performs at charity events for various causes including Cancer foundations, The MS Walk, Church festivals, Philadelphia’s Columbus Day Parade and the Special Olympics, among others. Also an advocate for anti-bullying, Punzo’s YouTube campaign was featured on the MYPHL17 morning show, Eye Opener. Her new EP “Grown” was released this past summer and is currently available on iTunes. rowhome magazine