The Top Five @ FTC Advance to the Final STAGE:
Congrats to the Winner, Taylor Hogan!

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Final STAGE was the climax of the competitions that occurred over the past few months. Students have tirelessly fought through five preliminary rounds to make it through to the ever-elusive Final STAGE. Those lucky five contestants were Jessica Trifoli, Taylor Hogan, Sarah Borukhov, Dino Ciccarelli, and Obasi Jackson.

These students each had their own unique style with their own originally developed performance, collaborating from the top down with other students within or outside their major. Using any and all resources to their advantage, these students gained close to real world experience on how a live show would be organized, performed, and the expectations that come with it.

STAGE hosts were Taliek Hill, a recent alum, and Jamila Gordon, a well-known theater extraordinaire FTC senior and both were full of energy, jokes, skits, and musical numbers that added to the fantastic event. They pulled the crowd into the show right from the get go with their theatrics. Next, Rose started the show off with her impressive costume design and her outfit as well as her fluid and natural stage presence to go along with it. Taylor followed up with her own, personally written country music and vibrant country voice. Sarah had a well-arranged presentation, with an amazing combination of piano and vocals. Not to be shown up, Dino also put on a fantastic performance and with his vocals, he even got the crowd into it. The final act finished the show on a spectacular note with an eye-popping performance by Obasi and his band “The Vibe.”

There was much deliberation between the three judges, Stephanie Strippoli, a Concert Producer and Promoter, Jason Melker, an established Studio Manager, and Annie DiBiasi, Blackheart Records Associate, plus a close vote from the audience. It is never an easy choice to decide who wins STAGE since everyone had worked so hard and performed so well.

After careful consideration and discussion the winner of Final STAGE was finally announced–FTC’s up-and-coming country music star, Taylor Hogan!! Her setup was simplistic, natural, and this gave her performance a clear identity. She wrote much of her own music that she performed and the judges agreed the songs were unique and well written. The music she wrote made her voice shine and stand out the most, which was the focal point of her performance.

Five Towns College and the Office of Student Life would like to personally congratulate the students who participated, thank the staff and faculty who helped set up, and all who attended, as well as the judges and hosts for giving their time to make this an extraordinary event possible. A special thank you to Residence Life’s Christian Altamura, Audio Department’s Carlos Dias and Performing Art Center’s Laura Kruegel for planning and executing a fantastic event!

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