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posted: 7/6/2018 6:00 AM

Meet the Top 20: Suburban Chicago's Got Talent hopefuls ready to rock

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  • Adam Linder of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre.

    Adam Linder of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre.
    Submitted photo

 
 

The Top 20 contestants for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre represent a diverse roster of music makers. Drawn from a field of 95 hopefuls, these performers specialize in different musical genres including blues, metal, pop and more.

The general public can watch these artists prove their musical mettle at a free show at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 8, at the historic 900-seat St. Charles theater. The finalists must impress a panel of judges, who will choose which acts advance to the Top 15 round set for 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29.

Yet fans will also have their say via the Fan Favorite portion of the competition. Following the Top 20 and Top 15 performances, online videos will be posted at the Daily Herald website at dailyherald.com/entertainment/talent. The act with the most online votes will be guaranteed a spot in the next round.

For 2018, the grand prize has been expanded to include a Development Package (custom video, website development, mentor and photo session), a trip for two to either Nashville or Cleveland, a headline concert and an opening act slot for a national act at Schaumburg's Septemberfest on Saturday, Sept. 1. The Fan Favorite Prize is being finalized.

For the Top 10 show and finale, Suburban Chicago's Got Talent shifts to Addison's Little Italy Fest-West at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. That's when the grand prize and Fan Favorite winners will be announced.

For its seventh season, Suburban Chicago's Got Talent is co-sponsored by the Daily Herald, Onesti Entertainment, Amita Health, Zeigler Auto Group, Salon Lorrene and the village of Schaumburg.

• • •

Suburban Chicago's Got Talent

Main location: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 962-7000 or arcadalive.com or events.dailyherald.com

Top 20 show: 6 p.m. Sunday, July 8

Top 15 show: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 29

Top 10 show and finale: 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at Little Italy Fest-West at Centennial Park, Lake Street at Rohlwing Road, Addison

Admission: Free, but reserve your tickets now at events.dailyherald.com

• • •

THE TOP 20

Tommy Bravos of St. Charles, center, leads a self-titled band with Jeremy Benshish of South Elgin on the left and St. Louis-native Ryan Donlin on the right. Tommy Bravos is a top 20 finalist in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Tommy Bravos of St. Charles, center, leads a self-titled band with Jeremy Benshish of South Elgin on the left and St. Louis-native Ryan Donlin on the right. Tommy Bravos is a top 20 finalist in Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Tommy Bravos

Hometowns: Jeremy Benshish of South Elgin, Tommy Bravos of St. Charles, center, and St. Louis-native Ryan Donlin

Talent: band

Influential artist: Florence and the Machine -- she inspired me to start writing during my parent's divorce, and after seeing her perform multiple times, I'm even more enthralled with her vocals and stage presence.

The Cary band Cap'n Funk & The Groove Train is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Tom Schuett of Cary, Fred Cantou of Naperville, George Gersch of Bartlett, John Erst-Bass of Schaumburg, Jay Howard-Trombone of Chicago, Rick Ippilito of Palatine, Mark Beck of Orland Hills and Paul Howard of Niles.
The Cary band Cap'n Funk & The Groove Train is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Tom Schuett of Cary, Fred Cantou of Naperville, George Gersch of Bartlett, John Erst-Bass of Schaumburg, Jay Howard-Trombone of Chicago, Rick Ippilito of Palatine, Mark Beck of Orland Hills and Paul Howard of Niles. - Courtesy of Joseph Kulis
Cap'n Funk & The Groove Train

Hometowns: Tom Schuett of Cary, Fred Cantou of Naperville, George Gersch of Bartlett, John Erst-Bass of Schaumburg, Jay Howard-Trombone of Chicago, Rick Ippilito of Palatine, Mark Beck of Orland Hills and Paul Howard of Niles.

Talent: pop/rock band

Influential artist: Robert Lamm of the band Chicago -- a music major graduate from Roosevelt University, he had a dream, worked to accomplish that dream and endured all the many hardships and challenges that stand in the way of success.

Johnny Don't! of Aurora is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Johnny Don't! of Aurora is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Johnny Don't

Hometown: Aurora

Talent: vocalist/songwriter/funny guy

Influential artists: I love Jeff Buckley, Radiohead, Local Natives, Prince, Stevie Wonder, George Gershwin, Billie Holiday, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys ... the list is quite long.

The McHenry band EFF'M RADIO (Dannie Schramm, Tom Wilson, Ken Schultz, Douglas Ehrhardt and Scott Thompson) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
The McHenry band EFF'M RADIO (Dannie Schramm, Tom Wilson, Ken Schultz, Douglas Ehrhardt and Scott Thompson) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Joseph Kulis
EFF'M RADIO

Hometowns: Dannie Schramm, Tom Wilson, Ken Schultz, Douglas Ehrhardt and Scott Thompson of McHenry

Talent: rock band

Influential artists: Rush, Randy Rhoads, Queensryche, Mr. Big and Y&T

Morgan Etnyre of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Morgan Etnyre of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Submitted Photo
Morgan Etnyre

Hometown: Elgin

Talent: singer

Influential artist: Michael Jackson -- he was the first artist that made me feel something when he sang.

The Chicago-based band Ghostille (featuring Tommy Rey, Donnie Love and Allen Win) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
The Chicago-based band Ghostille (featuring Tommy Rey, Donnie Love and Allen Win) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Ghostille

Hometown: Tommy Rey, Donnie Love and Allen Win of Chicago

Talent: rock band

Influential artist: Elvis Costello -- my parents raised me on his music from a young age. I was very drawn to his youthful attitude and his more somber pieces as he aged.

Antoinette Herring of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Antoinette Herring of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Antoinette Herring

Hometown: Elgin

Talent: singer

Influential artists: Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, just to name a few. The most influential singer/performer to me is Mariah Carey.

The band HIP POCKIT is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. From left, band members are: Brad Repplinger of Glendale Heights, Tom Lucia of Skokie, Lou Thoms of Lindenhurst, John Ozcomert of Bartlett, Tom Skawski of Elgin, Phil Ganka of Rolling Meadows, Joe Fanelli of Elk Grove Village and Rick Neid from Gilberts.
The band HIP POCKIT is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. From left, band members are: Brad Repplinger of Glendale Heights, Tom Lucia of Skokie, Lou Thoms of Lindenhurst, John Ozcomert of Bartlett, Tom Skawski of Elgin, Phil Ganka of Rolling Meadows, Joe Fanelli of Elk Grove Village and Rick Neid from Gilberts. - Courtesy of Joseph Kulis
HIP POCKIT

Hometowns: Brad Repplinger of Glendale Heights, Tom Lucia of Skokie, Lou Thoms of Lindenhurst, John Ozcomert of Bartlett, Tom Skawski of Elgin, Phil Ganka of Rolling Meadows and Joe Fanelli of Elk Grove Village

Talent: R&B/soul band

Influential artists: Chicago -- their music inspired me to go back to college and earn a music degree because learning music theory helped me grow as a musician.

Adam Linder of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre.
Adam Linder of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Adam Linder

Hometown: Elgin

Talent: singer-songwriter/guitarist

Influential artist: I always cite Bob Dylan as my idol. He proved a point that you don't have to be a savant on guitar, or a master vocalist to create powerful, moving music.

Geneva-based band LiveWire is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Alex Cappelli of Geneva, Danny Cappelli of Geneva, Jake D of Plainfield and Nikko Viejon of North Aurora.
Geneva-based band LiveWire is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Alex Cappelli of Geneva, Danny Cappelli of Geneva, Jake D of Plainfield and Nikko Viejon of North Aurora. - Submitted Photo
LiveWire

Hometown: Elgin

Talent: rock band

Influential artists: Guthrie Govan, Hannah Welton, Arnel Pineda, Bruno Mars and Michael Jackson

Marquel of Geneva is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Marquel of Geneva is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Marquel

Hometown: Geneva

Talent: singer

Influential artist: Carrie Underwood

Michael McInerney of La Grange is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Michael McInerney of La Grange is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Submitted Photo
Michael McInerney

Hometown: La Grange

Talent: blues singer-songwriter

Influential artist: Elmore James

Olivia Newbill of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Olivia Newbill of Elgin is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Olivia Newbill

Hometown: Elgin

Talent: singer

Influential artist: Justin Timberlake -- he has such a genuine love and passion for what he does and the art behind making music.

Shannon Nugent of Arlington Heights is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Shannon Nugent of Arlington Heights is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Shannon Nugent

Hometown: Arlington Heights

Talent: singer-songwriter/pianist

Influential artist: Fiona Apple -- her complex piano parts, the raw emotion in her voice and her impressive lyrics are such an inspiration to me. She is authentic and talented and has reaffirmed for me that as an artist I can be more than enough as one woman on a piano bench.

The Wayne-based duo Rane (Chelsea Behrens and Trisha Goddard) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
The Wayne-based duo Rane (Chelsea Behrens and Trisha Goddard) is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Submitted Photo
Rane

Hometown: Chelsea Behrens and Trisha Goddard of Wayne

Talent: singers/pianists/guitarist

Influential artists: Various artists like Brendon Urie, Taylor Swift and Katy Perry

Leo Sclamberg of Highland Park is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Leo Sclamberg of Highland Park is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Joseph Kulis
Leo Sclamberg

Hometown: Highland Park

Talent: singer/guitarist

Influential artist: Pat Monahan from Train, because he writes amazing music and does what he loves for a living.

The band Seasalt is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. The band features from left: Jon O'Brien of Richmond, Becky Sargeant of Woodstock, Kayla Seeber of Poplar Grove and Drew Zaremba of Richmond.
The band Seasalt is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. The band features from left: Jon O'Brien of Richmond, Becky Sargeant of Woodstock, Kayla Seeber of Poplar Grove and Drew Zaremba of Richmond. - Submitted photo
Seasalt

Hometowns: Jon O'Brien of Richmond, Drew Zaremba of Richmond, Becky Sargeant of Woodstock and Kayla Seeber of Poplar Grove

Talent: indie rock band

Influential artists: Paramore is the only band we collectively listen to and draw inspiration from. Jon and Becky look to the guitarist Taylor York for spunky riff ideas, Drew looks to the drummer Zac Farro for poppy drum fills and Kayla looks to Hayley Williams for energetic performance skills.

Alex Tangney of Palatine is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Alex Tangney of Palatine is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Submitted Photo
Alex Tangney

Hometown: Palatine

Talent: singer

Influential artist: Sara Bareilles -- because her music is so easy to connect to. It always lifts me up when I'm feeling low and is a great source of inspiration.

The Bartlett-based band Watchtower is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Jason Sreniawski of St. Charles, Chloe Weidl of St. Charles, Josh Freehill of Bartlett, Bredia Santoro of Plainfield, Daniel Brozek of Streamwood and Christian Freehill of Bartlett.
The Bartlett-based band Watchtower is a top 20 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Band members from left are: Jason Sreniawski of St. Charles, Chloe Weidl of St. Charles, Josh Freehill of Bartlett, Bredia Santoro of Plainfield, Daniel Brozek of Streamwood and Christian Freehill of Bartlett. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Watchtower

Hometown: Bartlett

Talent: rock band

Influential artists: Van Halen, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple and Guns N' Roses

Joey Wilbur of St. Charles is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Joey Wilbur of St. Charles is a top 20 finalist for Suburban Chicago's Got Talent at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. - Courtesy of Lori Urbaniec
Joey Wilbur

Hometown: St. Charles

Talent: singer-songwriter

Influential artist: Ed Sheeran -- He has showed me a lot about stage presentation and how to be on a stage live. He has also been an inspiration to me on how to write a good song that people want to listen to and has helped a lot with my songwriting process. He is the reason I started to play guitar and write songs.

• • •

Top 20 Judges

Jim Peterik: The founding member of Survivor, the vocalist and songwriter of "Vehicle" by the Ides of March, and a co-writer of the anthem "Eye of the Tiger" (the hit theme from the motion picture "Rocky III").

Carl Giammarese: A founding member and lead guitarist and vocalist of The Buckinghams. Starting in 1965, The Buckinghams were an important part of creating the sounds of American rock music after the British invasion had changed everything.

Ron Onesti: President and CEO of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, which runs the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles and outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the area.

Barbara Vitello: A Lisagor Award-winning reporter, the Daily Herald's principal theater critic and legal affairs writer.

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