Jacob Griffin and Mike Green reign supreme at 2018 Hoosier Star competition

2018 youth winner Jacob Griffin and 2018 adult winner Mike Green show off their hardware.

WNLP photos (many more below) and story by Bob Wellinski

Once again, many talented voices graced the ears of those who attended Hoosier Star at the Civic Auditorium Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. Five youths and six adults (including the first-ever duet) belted out their selected songs with the LaPorte County Symphony backing them up. Guest conductor Alastair Willis led the orchestra.

Jacob Griffin took top honors in the youth division and Maggie Cornett was runner up. Corbett was also selected for the Rising Star Award in honor of the late Joe Mellen. Also competing in the youth division were Molly Lenis and siblings Joseph and Afyah Giuliani.

Mike Green took top honors in the adult division, with the sister duet of Julia Obendorf and Rachel Lenker taking runner up. Also competing in the adult division were Laurel Blankenship, Bob Penney and Abby Bradley.

Abby Bradley had quite the journey to make it to the Hoosier Star finals. The Plymouth native struggled with stage fright during high school choir. She eventually found herself locked up for drug use. Following a heroin overdose, Abby was taken in as a resident at the Worthy Women Recovery Home in LaPorte in January 2018. It was there she learned that her God-given talents of singing, as well as playing the piano and guitar, were a better alternative to her former lifestyle. She connected with the crowd during her performance Saturday, bringing many to tears while she sang “I Can Only Imagine.”

Judges for this competition were Sheryl Edwards, Trevor McDonald and Scot PJ MacDonald. Emcee for the night was Nanda Danitschek.

2018 youth winner Jacob Griffin reacts to being named the victor as runner up Maggie Cornett (left) and contestant Afyah Giuliani applaud for him.

Sheryl Edwards presents Mike Green with his trophy after he won the adult division. Julia Obendorf and Rachel Lenker (left), who took runner up, applaud.

Contestants gather on the Civic stage.

Fans of Molly Lenis show their support.

Attendees cast their votes for the winners.

Staffers from Parkison and Hinton accounting office tally the votes.

The great crowd on hand for the competition.

Molly Lenig performing in the youth division.

Joseph Giuliani performs in the youth division.

Enthusiastic audience members are brought to their feet.

Maggie Cornett performs in the youth division.

Afyah Giuliani performs in the youth division.

Eventual winner Jacob Griffin performs in the youth division.

Jacob Griffin’s cheering section.

Back-up singers enhancing the musical artistry.

Laurel Blankenship performs in the adult division.

Abby Bradley performs in the adult division.

Audience members give Abby Bradley a standing ovation.

Some of Abby Bradley’s supporters.

Bob Penney performs in the adult division.

Eventual adult division winner Mike Green performs.

Sisters Julia Obendorf and Rachel Lenker perform a duet in the adult division.

Last year’s youth winner, Jarynn Sampson, sings for the crowd.

Nanda Danitschek hugs Maggie Cornett, recipient of the 2018 Rising Star Award.

Last year’s adult division winner, Julia Campoli, sings.

 

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