Ella Dolynchuk, 17, of Eden Prairie, won first place at the Eden Prairie Optimist Club’s third annual Eden Prairie Sings competition on June 1 at Round Lake Park.

Bee Stensby, 17, was first runner up, and Gabby Jore, 17, was awarded second runner up.

Area professional vocalists judged the local contestant’s ability based on vocal skills, presentation skills, judges’ and audience’s response and choice of material to determine the winners. The judging panel included Joshua Eidem, last year’s first place winner and professional voice coach; Stanford Felix of the Eden Prairie School of Rock; and Laura Glassel from Laura’s Music Studio.

Area vocalists ages 15-25 were invited to sing for the opportunity for cash prizes and to represent Eden Prairie in the statewide Minnesota Sings competition scheduled for Sept. 28-29 in Woodbury.

Dolynchuk will attend Oklahoma City University this fall and intends to major in theater, with an emphasis on musical theater. She sang “Funny Honey” from the musical “Chicago” and has been acting since she was 5, she said.

Ryan Affolter, of the Eden Prairie Optimist Club, was host of the event alongside event master of ceremonies Jeremiah Lewis-Walker. Lewis-Walker has been coaching, performing and choreographing for nearly 20 years. He is also the owner and creative director of JLW Productions, a local company focusing on choreography and performance.

Minnesota Sings statewide finals is a competition between cities throughout Minnesota that is designed for amateur vocalists ages 15-25. Each city hosts their own Sings event to determine who will represent them at the State Finals Event in September. There, talent judges from across the country will decide the winners of the 2018 Minnesota Sings Competition, the Optimist Club said.

This is the third year the Optimist Club of Eden Prairie has been sponsoring the event for the Eden Prairie.

Eden Teller is the multimedia reporter for Eden Prairie News. She's passionate about fostering productive conversations and empowering communities. When she's not reporting, she can be found reading a book, on a hike or tackling home improvement projects.

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