Contestants advance through first and second rounds of Terrace Idol

By Semira Beraki, Hawkeye staff

The annual district-wide singing competition known as Terrace Idol has brought in talented singers from around the different high schools in Edmonds School District to come and show the audience their voice at the MTHS theater.

This event is organized by the MTHS 2017 Senior Class ASB as a fundraiser.

The first round of Terrace Idol started on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the MTHS theater with 20 contestants taking the stage. As it returned with the second round on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., 10 contestants had continued the battle and five of them have moved onto the final round. The finalists were announced at the end of the second round.


Within the first round, 10 out of 20 contestants made the judges’ cut, each one bringing out unique performances. The first round panel consisted of three judges. One of them being Emily Brotherton, a past Terrace Idol judge and current music director at Holy Trinity Edmonds. MTHS alumnus Brett Morrison and a member of the award-winning Acapella Group “Restless Vocals”, being the second judge. And lastly, science teacher Penny Lefavour, who currently performs with the Wellspring and Mill Creek Chorale music groups.

The contestants who moved into round two were MTHS students David Hill, Ashlee Putrick, Tanner Rook, Cali Stracener, Angel Garcia, Kaylee Gohl, Praditha Halstad, Teresa Vu, Rackeb Kelemu and Jackson High School student Sarah Holman. Such performances ranged from different genres, voices and styles of performing.

Junior David Hill, the first male singer of the night, performed his own variation of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley, using a rich, bass-like voice that resonated throughout the theater.

Freshman Cali Stracener followed with a gentle, clear voice singing “Stay” by Rihanna, gaining a lot of support, uproaring cheers and encouragement from the audience.

Freshman Ashlee Putrick sang the famous country song “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood. She was commented by the judges on her vibrant and positive energy on stage and using hand gestures to emphasize more on the emotions in the song.

Sophomore Sarah Holman, being the only contestant from out of the district, showed a lot of talent and praise with her variation of “Confetti” by Tori Kelly. Her performance was praised due to her guitar skills which complemented the song and her voice.

Senior Tanner Rook, the lead male role in the recent MTHS musical Zombie Prom, blew away the audience with his charming, 1980s persona by singing “Ladies’ Choice” from the musical Hairspray. He was praised by one of the judges who commented that it was a “natural performance” to him as lighting had changed throughout the performance to complement the attitude, style and dancing incorporated.

Following a 10 minute intermission, senior Angel Garcia was up next with her gentle, strong voice singing the famous Disney song “How Far I’ll Go” from the movie Moana.

Freshman Kaylee Gohl, new to the Terrace Idol stage, sang her own ukulele version of “All I Want” by Kodaline. Her soothing, pleasant, rich, yet strong voice really got to the judges and captivated the audience.

Sophomore Praditha Halstad’s unique interpretation of “Send My Love” by Adele had admired by the judges quite well for the way it “flowed.” Her innovative performance included guitar accompanist Gian Neri. The guitar blended with her voice and really had the crowd in awe.

With her voice that embodied the nature of Sam Smith, freshman Teresa Vu sang Smith’s song “Writing’s On the Wall.” She was commented on her gentle, soothing voice and received praises for high notes she reached in the song that enhanced the performance.

The last contestant for the night to advance onward was sophomore Rackeb Kelemu, who sang “Jealous” by the band Labrinth. Incorporating a mellow, melancholy voice fitting with the theme of the song and adding in her own vibratos, she had a great voice that the judges admired as well as swayed along during her performance to express the emotions.

Many other contestants had great performances but had not moved on, still getting great support from the audience and encouragements from the judges. Such performances from Edmonds Woodway High School junior Rodney Ocfemia’s acoustic style of “Say You Won’t Let Go” to Leeann Weatherby’s cheerful, genuine performance of “Where I Sleep.”

As well as freshman Autumn Sander performing “Creep” by Rihanna, Handrae Henthorn’s performance of “Alive” by Sia, sophomore Chloe Laney singing “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga, and junior Chris Bottman singing “Layla” by Eric Clapton.

The show included MTHS seniors Adam Lorraine and Jeremy Ansdell. These two charismatic, jokester-like MCs interacted and got the audience into a good vibe as they were announcing contestants.

During the judges’ deliberation, the MTHS Hip Hop Team did their own special performance based off of a dance tutorial from Matt Steffanina called “Hawks Through the Decades,” which was choreographed by senior Brittany Delaney and sophomore Seth Timple.

The show proved to be a success and had continued on with the second round on the following week, Thursday, Feb. 16.


The second round of Terrace Idol included new, creative arrangements of song choices, unique body movements and all kinds of emotions expressed within the performances. There were fewer contestants performing than before and even fewer to choose from for the final round. Nevertheless, performances in this round were still a hit and really enjoyed by the audience.

This round included a guest performance by the 2016 Terrace Idol Audience Choice Winner “K-Money” performing an energetic, hyped up performance of his new song, “Hate Me,” getting the crowd excited while the judges decided who would advance to round three.

The judging panel also experienced a little bit of change by replacing Lefavour with two new judges. Among these two judges were MTHS alumna Rebecca Ellersick, who serves as a current worship leader of her local church with an astounding musical background and MTHS 2010 alumnus Gabriel Much, a Seattle-based pop singer, dancer and circus artist, joining Brotherton and Morrison in second round judging panel.

Starting off the night was Angel Garcia’s emotional performance of the song “Piece by Piece” by Kelly Clarkson. Although she was nervous and had hesitated a few times, she still gained much crowd support and helpful advices from the judges to better help her performance.

From Ashlee Putrick’s energetic, bright tone by singing “Hide Away” by Daya to Teresa Vu’s gentle, yet strong voice within high notes from singing “Secret Love Song” by Little Mix, this round showed a variety of song choices and genres.

David Hill had the most body movement and use of the stage when performing his own version of the song “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. His performance, from the swaying into the music to sitting during instrumental parts in the song and having long holds on his falsettos, erupted an explosion of applauses from the audience and praises from the judges.

Rackeb Kelemu’s performance included singing to a piano/orchestral arrangement of Frank Sinatra’s “Flying Me To The Moon.” Reaching high octaves and swaying into the jazz arrangement, her performance was highly praised by the judges with “so much color” into it and feeling into the 1964 time period. A judge also commented that her voice had a “Mariah Carey vibe” that was well enjoyed by the judges as well as  everyone else in the audience.

After the 10 minute intermission, Kaylee Gohl sang an upbeat, smooth, rich tone of the song “Skinny Love” by Birdy. Although had experience a little bit of hesitation, she was admired by the judges for her good balance of singing and playing the ukulele.

Cali Stracener followed after with the song “You Don’t Own Me” by Grace. She stood up this time, retiring the stool, in her performance and projected more confidence than in the first round. With a rich, pleasant voice, she performed the changing scales and octaves of the song, with huge encouragement and support from the crowd.

Praised and admired by the judges was Praditha Halstad’s creative, own rendition of the hip hop song “Hotline Bling” by Drake. In her performance, she included the same guitar accompanist from the first round and added in another friend of hers to do percussions in this arrangement. She received many compliments from the judges for this innovative piece as well as for her powerful voice.

Sarah Holman displayed her talents and amazed the crowd with her acoustic version of the classic song “Fallin’” by Alicia Keys. Her facial expressions throughout her performance showed the emotions and effort that she put into as well as going flawlessly with her playing skills and her great, strong voice.

The last act of the night was Tanner Rook’s jazz arrangement of Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good.” In his performance, the judges complimented him for his clear falsettos, good runs within notes and lots of power shown throughout his voice and body movements that had the crowd roaring with cheers and support.  

With all these astounding performances, only five out of 10 of the contestants are to move on to the final round. These contestants who made it onto the final round were Rackeb Kelemu, Kaylee Gohl, Praditha Halstad, Sarah Holman and Tanner Rook.   

The final round of Terrace Idol is on Friday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 per person. Judges will announce the final winners, which includes a judges’ choice and an audience choice.