News Column

Local performers compete for the spotlight in Anniston's Got Talent

July 14, 2013


July 14--Celebration of the city's 130th birthday continues Friday with the first Anniston's Got Talent competition. Beginning at 7 p.m., the Anniston Performing Arts Center will be filled with 26 acts singing, dancing, playing and vying for the $1,000 grand prize awarded at the end of the evening.

The event, which is based on the TV competition, "America's Got Talent," is free to attend. Votes for the Community Actors' Studio Theater Fan Favorite Award will be sold for $1 each at the beginning of the night. The audience pick is separate from the three final awards presented, which will be scored by the five panel judges.

Performers were chosen by a selection committee, which included CAST director Kim Dobbs.

"I wanted to have fewer (acts) actually, but when we got down to the last several cuts, we couldn't decide," Dobbs said. "We added it up in minutes and found it was just 12 minutes. So I'm just going to run it really tightly."

Finalist Brent Borrelli, a 19-year-old singer, pianist and songwriter from Oxford, was surprised when he got the notification that he was chosen to compete in the finale.

"Everything seemed so last minute when I auditioned," Borrelli said, explaining that there wasn't a piano for him to use in the first round of auditions. "So for the second audition it was kind of a 'what the hell? I'll give it a shot.'"

Borrelli studies chemical and biological engineering at the University of Alabama, but music remains a large part of his life.

"Whether I win or not, I'd definitely do this a second time. Third or fourth, I don't care. I love performing," he said. "My goal is to move people through music."

The young musician's only regret this year was that he was not as prepared with his own music as he would have liked.

"I didn't have time to do my own arrangement, so I put together a medley that I was comfortable with and I hope it comes across as something people like," Borrelli said. "Next year, I'd really want to do my own songs and show people what I have to offer and not what someone else does."

The competition will take place in the first half of the evening, and the show's second half will showcase feature performances by acts including emcees KB Solomon and Miss Alabama 2012 Anna Laura Bryan as well as members of CAST Kids. Though Dobbs said she has no idea what the final turnout will be, she hopes it will bode well for the future of Anniston's Got Talent.

"I'd love for this to be an annual event and eventually a fundraiser for CAST," Dobbs said. "I'm just going to have to have faith that the city will support the arts and that they will turn out and have a great time with a lot of entertainment and huge variety."


WHAT: Anniston's Got Talent

WHEN: Friday, July 19 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Anniston Performing Arts Center, 1301 Woodstock Ave.

COST: Admission is free and open to the public

INFO: Call 256-241-7692 or


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