Finalists – 2014

More than 80 people signed up to audition for the 2014 Altoona’s Got Talent, but we only had 19 slots – 5 for dance and 7 for each voice category. So our judges had some very difficult decisions to make.

Here are the 19 finalists for Altoona’s Got Talent on Thursday, August 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the historic Mishler Theatre. (They are listed alphabetically.)

It’s going to be a great show.

• Olivia Pietrolungo
• Alexis Quintero
• Mickie Smith
• Keara Sweeney
• Brandon Wilbur

Voice (18 and under)
• Meira Cannarsa
• Joseph Caroff
• Norah Cunningham
• Sarah Everett
• Morgan Hinish
• Mariah Huss
• Isaac McNulty

Voice (Adult)
• Chet Denny
• Becky Dougherty
• Brittany Hipp
• Jacob Kaiser
• Michael McClure
• Ashley Moore
• Kelly Jo Wise

Performance – 2014

The talent show and final judging was on Thursday, August 7 at the historic Mishler Theatre.  (Our final judges are not the same people as the audition judges. See below.)

In addition to the judges’ selections for the cash prizes, the theatre audience voted electronically via text to pick the People’s Choice Awards.  All winners were  announced at the end of the evening.

Judges – 2014

Our audition judges are local professionals in dance, voice, and theatre.  Molly Riva and Emily Volpe judged the Dance auditions.  The Voice (Adult) judges were Paul Seymour and Cathy Young.  Karen Volpe and Mariah Seymour judged Voice (18 and under).

Finalist judge – Dance

Michael Paul Makin is originally from the area and is now living, working, and dancing in Pittsburgh.  He studied dance at the Allegheny Ballet Company and also taught ballet at the Bertolino Dance Company. He was accepted into the summer programs for American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet Theatre, Houston Ballet Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet Company.

In 2007, Michael received the Isaac Award for Best Featured Dancer in “Godspell.” He attended Penn State Altoona double majoring in Communications and Integrative Arts and was awarded the Prindle Memorial Scholarship in 2008.  He performed a leading role in the New York City production of “Johnny Ramirez Really Wants to Kiss Me,” written and directed by David Matthew Barnes.

Finalist judge – Voice

Dr. Ryan Beeken is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Blair Concert Chorale in Altoona as well as Assistant Professor and Director of Choral Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Ryan earned his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Bachelor of Music Education degrees from Drake University and his Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in choral conducting from Michigan State University.

Ryan’s choirs have performed at State, Regional and National conventions of the American Choral Directors Association. He has been engaged as a conductor, clinician, and adjudicator throughout the United States.

Ryan’s son, Zach, was part of Restless Road, an all-male country trio who took 4th place on season 3 of The X Factor USA. They were mentored by Simon Cowell.


Proceeds benefit Altoona Community Theatre.
Altoona’s Got Talent is not affiliated with America’s Got Talent.