Local teen showcases talent beyond her years at singing competition

Elizabeth Padfield, a 7th grader at Solvang School, sings during the Santa Barbara Teen Star singing competition Saturday, February 25, 2017 at the Arlington Theater.

Raiza Giorgi

Teen Star Santa Barbara judge Catherine Remak thought there was a typo next to Elizabeth Padfield’s name because her maturity and depth of range was astounding during the competition on February 25 at the Arlington Theatre.

“Your voice is the instrument and I felt like we were in the 1930’s,” Remak said.

Elizabeth, 12, a seventh grader at Solvang Elementary School, ultimately didn’t win the competition but she definitely left an impression on the hundreds of people that came to see the performances. Nolan Montgomery of Dos Pueblos High School was crowned the winner.

“Being on stage was mind blowing and I had such a great time. Performing is about bringing a smile to peoples faces and that’s what I strive for when I perform,” Elizabeth said.

She’s no stranger to the stage as she has performed in the valley for various functions singing the national anthem at Fourth of July and portraying Mary Poppins in last year’s production with the Arts Outreach Summer Theater.

This popular event along with Teen Dance Star are now in their seventh season of crowning hardworking students and creator and executive producer Joe Lambert, a former valley resident, talks about his efforts.

“I am really impressed and humbled by their hard work and what’s really amazing is they set their goals to get into the show, or into the top 10 and they keep pursuing their dreams,” Lambert said.

This year’s Teen Star drew contestants from all around Santa Barbara County performing their hearts out at the Arlington Theatre. The finalists were Jillian Garnett of San Marcos High School (12th Grade), Elizabeth Padfield of Solvang School (7th Grade), James McKernan of Bishop Diego High School (12th Grade), Nicole Trujillo of Dos Pueblos High School (11th Grade), Daniel Geiger of Pioneer Valley High School (11th Grade), Rachel Guron of Cabrillo High School (12th Grade), Jericho Guron of Cabrillo High School (9th Grade), Hunter Hawkins of Laguna Blanca (10th Grade), Ben Catch of San Marcos High School (9th Grade), Jake Gildred of Jonata Middle School (8th Grade) – Alternate, and Neve Greenwald of La Colina Junior High (8th Grade) – Alternate. These young singers were selected after interviewing and auditioning before a panel of judges, and the top 10 received mentoring sessions with this year’s Celebrity Mentor, Kenny Loggins.

“Science shows that music helps the learning process from math, reading and beyond, it’s such an important part of life,” Loggins said.

Loggins has lived in Santa Barbara since 1973 and enjoys being apart of the community and doing charity work.

The mission of Teen Star Santa Barbara is to support youth in performing arts with the goal of nurturing talent by inspiring passion, instilling a drive for success and encouraging excellence and professionalism.

The proceeds from the showcase will benefit performing arts in Santa Barbara County schools. For more information, visit TeenStarUSA.com or call 800-380-9110, ext. 200.