Rebecca Lane, Joe Stewart top talented field of Hoosier Star contestants

Rebecca Lane reacts to being named the youth winner.

Adult winner Joe Stewart.

WNLP story and photos by Bob Wellinski
Although Joe Stewart and Rebecca Lane walked away with top honors during the 13th annual Hoosier Star competition, it could be said that all those attending the event walked away winners as they were treated to outstanding talent from the 10 finalists Saturday, Sept. 7.
Stewart took top honors in the adult division as he belted out “I’m Not the Only One.”  Billy Cox finished runner up with his song, “Drink in My Hand.” In the youth division, Lane’s “At Last” earned her first place as Ella Moon was sparking during her performance of “Girl on Fire.”
Raul Palma received the Joe Mellen Rising Star Award, presented to the youth finalist who exemplifies the STAR qualities the Mellen radiated on and off the stage. Mellen, who was active with the Hoosier Star, passed away in 2011.
The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra was equally amazing accompanying the night’s contestants under the direction of guest conductor Alastair Willis. Judges for the evening were: Julia Biek, Dewitt L. Jackson Sr. and Mary Kay Steele. Jeremiah Mellen was the night’s emcee.
Competing in the youth division were: Jamileh Cornejo, Rebecca Lane, Joseph Giuliani, Ella Moon and Raul Palma. In the adult division were: Laura Carns, Billy Cox, Tim Hester, Clara Hooton and Joe Stewart.

Billy Cox performs to the delight of the judges

Clara Hooten sings.

Ella Moon delights the crowd.

Symphony members provide accompaniment.

Emcee Jeremiah Mellen wipes tears from his eyes as he explains the Joe Mellen Rising Star Award.

Guest Conductor Alastair Willis takes a selfie with his daughter during a break in the action.

Guest Conductor Alastair Willis’ daughter is ready to take charge.

Crowd members were clearly appreciative.

Audience members accept one of the goodies available during the concert.

Ella boosters were in great attendance.

Audience members shout their preferences.

The abundant crowd in attendance at the Civic.

Jamileh Cornejo performs.

The Joe Mellen Rising Star Award is presented.

Joseph Giuliani sings.

Laura Carns performs.

Paul Palma sings.

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