Bennington County's Got Talent 2023

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Friday, March 10, 2023

Presenting Sponsor

Kobi addington Mira Fowler Morgan Loomis Gretchen Sausville Georgi Stryker Keri Winnie Jocelyn Millette Gabriella Giorgi Kali Howard Veronica Jarvis daniel Lane Cristo Buckley Miriam Campbell Patrick Collette Jimmy Evans Sponsored by

Meet our judges

Chris is a self-proclaimed professional talent judge with over twenty years of experience judging contestants on shows like America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and The Voice..... from the comfort of his couch. Chris returns to Bennington’s Got Talent as a veteran judge and is the only person to be a guest judge for all six years.

Kevin T. Carlon

Kevin T. Carlon has over 25 years of experience in the sports, entertainment and hospitality industries. He has held senior executive positions with the Colorado Rockies Baseball Club and the Denver Grizzlies Hockey Club and has served as the CEO for the USA Equestrian and USA Table Tennis for the USA Olympics. In the performing arts, Carlon managed the Ruth Eckerd Hall Performing Arts Center in Clearwater, the Palace Theater in Albany, the Gaillard Performing Arts Center in Charleston and Bethel Woods Center for the Arts.

In addition, he served as a Professor in the Center for Sports, Event, and Entertainment (SEE) Management in the Hospitality College of Johnson and Wales University in Providence, R.I. He holds a Master’s Degree in Management from the University of Massachusetts, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Tufts University.

Kaiya is a dynamic individual with a passion for theater, food, and wine. As the production manager at the Bennington Performing Arts Center and a lead wine educator at couch + cork, Kaiya brings her creativity and expertise to both roles. She has been recognized for her leadership skills, having been named Southern Vermont’s Young Woman in Leadership at the inaugural Women in Leadership luncheon.

Born in Austin, Texas, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Kaiya has made Vermont her home. Her diverse background and experiences have shaped her into an adaptable and driven individual who seeks to create connections and make a positive impact in her community.

Ariel Rudiakov

Ariel Rudiakov, violist and conductor, is co-founder and Artistic Director of Taconic Music in Manchester, Vt., Music Director and conductor of Danbury Symphony Orchestra, Conn., Assistant conductor of the Greenwich (Conn.) Symphony Orchestra and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Indianapolis, where he conducted the chamber orchestra and coached chamber music from 2017 to April, 2022. He attended pre-college at Manhattan School of Music and went on to receive Bachelor and Master’s degrees at SUNY

Valerie Harrington

Born and raised in New England, Valer started selling cars back in 2016. She moved to Bennington with her now husband, Seth Harrington in 2017 as he was born and raised here. Over the years, she has worked her way from Sales Consultant to Marketing Director. She and her husband both work at the Coggins Auto Group so life is pretty busy. They enjoy their home projects and weekend adventures with their kiddos and dogs. Between work, family and community events, Valerie is rarely sitting still for long — and she loves it that way!

Christopher Oldham

Christopher Oldham resides in North Bennington with his wife, Amanda, and sons, Christopher and Jackson. After attending Castleton State College, Chris returned to the area and won a seat on the Bennington Select Board, where he served for nine years. Chris is the former Bennington Coalition for the Homeless director, author of “A Father’s Letter To His Son,” and a Vermont Business Magazine Rising Star Award recipient. He is currently the Executive Director of the Park-McCullough Historic Governor’s Mansion.

Purchase and University of Illinois at Champain-Urbana. Rudiakov was a scholarship student at Yale University’s master’s program where he studied viola with Jessie Levine and chamber music with members of the Tokyo String Quartet. He enjoys a diverse musical life, performing to critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and abroad with many fine musicians including the Shanghai, Lark and Indianapolis Quartets, current and former members of the Tokyo, Juilliard and Guarneri quartets, pianists Ruth Laredo, Davide Cabassi, Andre Michel Schub, and Drew Peterson, among many others. He is a former member of the New York Piano Quartet and Equinox String Quartet, and a founding member and president of SONYC (String Orchestra of New York City). Mr. Rudiakov was Artistic Director of the Manchester (VT) Music Festival from 2000 to 2016. Among his recordings are the complete string quartets by Camille Saint-Saens and the piano quintet by Vittorio Giannini (MSR Classics), which Fanfare Magazine described as “utterly superb”. Composers Richard Lane, Philip Lasser and Coleridge Taylor Perkinson have dedicated works to Mr. Rudiakov. At the podium, he has collaborated with noted musicians Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, Michael Rudiakov, Bernard Greenhouse, David Deveau, Christopher O’Reilly, and others. Resident and guest conducting positions have included the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Symphony, Bergen, and Yonkers Philharmonics, Antara Ensemble, Manchester Chamber Orchestra, Harlem Chamber Players, Sage City Symphony and recording sessions with Dance Theater of Harlem. This past summer, Ari performed chamber music at the Kawai A Ledro Festival in Italy. As a devoted fan of prog and other kinds of rock music, Ari plays electric viola on a recently re-booted and released song called Wizards by his band, The Region of Where. Wizards can be heard on Bandcamp and other streaming platforms. In addition, occasional acting has beckoned Rudiakov. He can be seen in the feature film Breathe In (starring Guy Pearce and Felicity Jones) playing, not surprisingly, the conductor.

Meet our MC

Jenny Dewar

Jenny graduated from the University of Michigan in 1987 with a degree in English and minors in Math and Dance. She spent several years traveling the world performing in an assortment of musical theater productions before making the transition to becoming a stage manager. Stage Manager credits include – Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof (Fred Molina/Harvey Fierstein), Chicago, Cabaret, Our Town (Paul Newman), The Dinner Party (Henry Winkler and the beloved John Ritter), Macbeth (Kelsey Grammer), Rent, Cats and Ragtime; National Tours: Cats, Rent; Off Broadway; Regional Theatre; and multiple events for BCEFA. She and her husband, John, answer to six cats, three goats and six chickens.

Jenny owns and runs a large, successful Short-Term Rental and manages another, both in Pownal. Hosting hundreds of visitors to Vermont is a source of great pride. Audience members may know Jenny as the Director of Events for the Better Bennington Corporation where she manages Mayfest, Harvest Fest, Thursday Night Live, Downtown Popups and more.

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Kaiya Kirk


Kali Howard has been singing since 2003, when at the age of five, she sang “God Bless The USA” at the Pownal Fire House. Since then, she’s been active in her school’s chorus program, where HFCSD went to Carnegie Hall two years in a row. Recently, she’s started singing in front of friends and family.

When she’s not singing, Kali works at The Bank of Bennington as the front desk/Retail Coordinator. She and her husband, Austin, live in Bennington with their two year old daughter, Phoenix.

Veronica Jarvis NORTH POWNAL

Veronica Jarvis has been singing for nearly her entire life, and writing original songs since she was 11 years old. She has lived in Vermont since she was six, and has taken inspiration for her music from the people she has met and the experiences she has had. Veronica graduated middle school from the School of Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales and is currently a freshman at Mt. Anthony Union High School. She is a member of Chambers at MAU and has been in the choir there as well. Veronica hopes to release her original music as soon as she can.


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Daniel Lane HOOSICK

Daniel is a junior at Hoosick Falls Central. He has spent the past five years singing for the chorus. During this time, he has won many awards, including the 8th, 9th and 10th grade choral awards. He also won the William Gaillord award for the highest overall points in Performing Arts. During his time singing, he has gotten Outstanding results in NYSSMA, and was invited into All County and All State. He also was invited to Albany Pro Musica, and inducted into the Honors Choir. As well as chorus, Daniel has also played percussion for many years, even going to NYSSMA for it. Just this year, he also took up the Baritone. Daniel also enjoys the stage, being part of seven shows over the years, and playing multiple lead roles. For the future, Daniel would like to share his talents with the world by going on Saturday Night Live. As a backup, he hopes to study Musical Education and teach future generations how to find their musical talents.

Cristo Buckley MANCHESTER

Cristo has been singing his whole life. He’s constantly creating songs in his head and putting them down in his journal and loves to bring them to life by collaborating with beat makers. He released his first full length album last summer, called “My World.” You can listen to his album through any music platform. His songs are 90s/2000s pop inspired. He’s performed at Keene Idol in Keene, N.H., as well as Bennington’s Got Talent at Bennington College. He also performs at his high school. When Cristo is not singing he is part of the tennis, cross country and nordic teams. He loves to travel, have photoshoots, and recently released a single in hopes to launch his second album this summer.

Gabriella Giorgi SHAFTSBURY

Gabriella Giorgi is a senior who attends Mount Anthony Union High School. She started learning piano at four years old and developed an interest in singing and acting in the second grade, when she was in her first musical, “Seussical The Musical Jr.” Gabriella began songwriting in middle school. Her two passions are performing, and English, or writing, and songwriting allows her to combine these two while giving her an outlet as well. Gabriella is president of many clubs at MAUHS, including Student Senate and Interact club, which keep her involved in helping out in her community. In her free time, she loves to perform as well as help out her community in events, including Night to Shine, which she participated in this year. She is very excited to share one of her songs with all of you and hopes you enjoy!

Miriam Campbell BENNINGTON

Born and raised in Norfolk, England, Miriam Campbell fell in love with singing when she played Mary in her primary school’s nativity musical. She became an important member of the UK youth theater troupe Theatretrain, going on to perform at venues like the Royal Albert Hall and the 02 Arena. All through high school, she sang in her school choir and as a soloist for the school’s jazz band when she wasn’t playing saxophone, even ending up winning her school’s award for most contributions to the arts department.

When choosing universities, she decided that she would be able to pursue the education that she wanted across the pond, at Bennington College. There she studies performing arts, linguistics and languages, sells her artwork, and works in the campus café.

In the future, she hopes to form a band during college, and afterwards, intends to continue feeding her love for music, and also start a career in acting.

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Jocelyn Millette POWNAL

Jocelyn has been singing since before she could walk! She was happy to start her senior year with the MAUHS Fall 2022 musical Chicago, playing as Velma Kelly. She thoroughly loves being on stage. Jocelyn was also cast as Sophie in the 2022 Spring musical of Mamma Mia! Jocelyn most recently was accepted into District Music Festival, New England Music Festival as well as All State Music Festival. After high school she hopes to go to college for music education or music performance. Jocelyn would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers for their support!

Morgan Loomis BENNINGTON

Morgan Loomis is a 20 year old New Hampshirite, born and raised. She grew up surrounded by music in her family and, at the age of 8, after taking piano lessons with Mircea Geana, she decided to pursue her goal of becoming a music teacher. In high school, she was an active member of the music community, as a member of the honors chorus, symphonic band, theater group and president of the school’s honors music society. She has written and performed songs for over a decade. She now studies music theory and composition, and education policy and reform at Bennington College in the hopes of owning her own music studio one day.

Outside of songwriting, Morg enjoys public service, education, graphic design and marketing, snowshoeing, spending time with her friends and family, and her dog, Paisley.


Mira Fowler has possessed a passion for dance and performance since she was a young girl. Originally from Northampton, Mass., Mira performed and worked with various dance companies and productions including the School for Contemporary Dance and Thought’s pre-professional dance company. The company performed various works choreographed by Mira. In 2021 Mira transitioned to living in Bennington where she studies dance and performance at Bennington College. She has become passionate about connecting with the greater community of Bennington County and sharing the joy she feels when she shines on the stage!

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Georgi Stryker


Georgi has been singing since she learned to talk. When she was a child, she would perform at parties in front of large crowds. When she was eight years old, she declared to her parents that she wanted to be a rockstar. They then said that she needed a guitar, which they provided. She has been playing and singing since then. She recently started playing violin, piano and steel tongue drum. Music is in her blood; it is what makes her soul sing. She recently discovered a musician that lit a fire under her to follow her dreams. She is done with sitting on the sidelines of her own life. So now she is trying to get her music out to the masses. She has a Youtube page with many covers as well as some original material. She has been in talks with a friend to professionally record some songs. In this day and age of the internet, she believes that you don’t need a major record label to succeed. She just needs perseverance and talent to achieve greatness.

Patrick Collette BENNINGTON

Patrick was born and raised in Bennington, Vt. He loves singing, and has been playing the guitar and singing for quite some time now.

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Kobi Addington DORSET

Gretchen Sausville BENNINGTON

Gretchen was born and raised in Bennington. Her performing days precede her school career, as she did ballet as young as three years old. Gretchen has performed in many choirs from ages five to 18. She was also an avid member of MAUHS’s drama club all four years she was in high school. This will be Gretchen’s 4th year performing in Bennington County’s Got Talent.

Gretchen is currently studying Early Childhood Education at CCV to further her career as a Preschool Teacher. She hopes to bring the joy of music to children for years to come!






Kobi Addington is an 8th grader at Long Trail School. He is a half-Japanese, born in Tokyo. He moved to Dorset at a young age. He is a musician that has been playing piano for as long as he can remember. He plays all genres of music and strives to get better every day. His older siblings were also musicians, so he decided to play like them. He has played piano in school plays and music concerts. Recently, he was chosen for the district music festival and was the piano player for the middle school jazz band. When he is not playing piano, he is playing sports like football, basketball, and baseball. CATTVBenningtoncatamountaccess.comcatamountaccesstv

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Keri was born and raised in the area, and has spent the last 14 years living in her late grandmother’s home, which has been in the family for around 80 years. She has been singing since she can remember, and has sung with several local bands from time to time for fun. She’s even sung at weddings and funerals, and loves singing karaoke and at open mic sessions. Her daughter also loves to sing, and has performed with her on several occasions. Three years ago, she began recording her 1st promotional album and looks forward to more recording time. When not singing, she’s a full time Sous Chef, a self taught tattoo artist and piercer, a creative cake and cupcake designer, and a hairstylist and nail technician, to name a few. Her spare time is spent with her two awesome teenagers and being outdoors. For the last 18 years, since her son was born, she has invested her efforts and home into helping raise over 60 kids in the community, and it’s to these kids that she hopes to leave her legacy.


Jimmy started playing and writing music in 1977 in Las Vegas, Nev. In the 1980s, his band Painted Tears was voted best band in Las Vegas twice in a city wide Battle of the Bands. He has opened for such acts as Blue Oyster Cult, Mr Big, Pat Travers, Bad Company and many others. On April 20, 2013, he was inducted into the Las Vegas Reunion Hall of Fame for his work in the 80s and 90s. He moved to Bennington in 2003, and now Vermont is in his blood.

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“Weshapeourbuildings;thereafter, ourbuildingsshapeus.”
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Winners Sending goodvibes toalltheartists!

Official ballot

Below, please mark your choice for the best performer in this year’s Bennington’s Got Talent contest by filling in the circle next to their name, or scan the QR code at right to vote online. One vote per ballot and one ballot per audience member, please. Ballots will be collected after the final performance.

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1. Kali Howard 2. Vernoica Jarvis 3. Daniel Lane 4. Gabriella Giorgi 5. Cristo Buckley 6. Miriam Campbell 7. Jocelyn Millette 8. Mira Fowler 9. Morgan Loomis 1o. Georgi Stryker 11. Patrick Collette 12. Kobi Addington 13. Gretchen Sausville 14. Keri Winnie 15. Jimmy Evans
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Articles from Bennington County's Got Talent 2023