Naperville Business Major Amanda Mihalic Wins First Place in ‘Apollo Live!’ Talent Competition at COD

Amanda Mihalic Icon

By Mike McKissack

College of DuPage Business Major Amanda Mihalic (above) from Naperville earned first place for her inspiring rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” recognizing the fifth anniversary of the iconic singer’s death at the second annual Apollo Live! Student Talent Competition. The competition, held in the Belushi Performance Hall in the McAninch Arts Center, was attended by approximately 150 students, staff and community members.

Click here for photos and a video of this event.

The second place award went to second-year music education student Tien-Hui “Joy” Huang from Taiwan who wowed the audience with her technical abilities during a performance of Johannes Brahms “Rhapsody in G minor op. 79 no. 2” on the piano. Second-year Bioscience/Biotech major Matthew Birkley from Lisle took third place for his rousing piano performance of “Maple Leaf Rag” by Scott Joplin.

Winners were selected based on a variety of factors, including choice of selection, presentation, talent and skill, enthusiasm, presentation and audience participation.

Additional exceptional performances included Hanover Park’s Maurizio Meza playing guitar and singing “Neon” by John Mayer; COD African American Student Alliance members Ivan-Dante Perkins, Dewayne Holloway Jr., Tanika Moore, Theresa Moore and Rachel Walker singing “Man in the Mirror’ by Michael Jackson; Dani Zuanich playing ukulele and singing a mashup of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers and “Riptide” by Vance Joy; Chicago’s Rachel Stark playing piano and singing “Lost and Found” by Lianne La Havas; Romeoville resident Ethan Talbot juggling a Diabolo; Maryam Rodgers of Joliet performing a spoken word piece over “Ten Toes Down” by BubbaGotBeatz; Mike De Asis of Woodridge playing guitar and singing his original piece “Breathing Days”; and Brookfield resident Grace Jelinek playing piano and singing her original piece “West Suburban Scumbag.”

In addition, 2016’s Apollo Live! Student talent competition winner Anthony Perry performed Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind” while judges deliberated.

The Apollo Live! Talent Show was emceed by Director of the McAninch Arts Center Diana Martinez and was performed as part of a series of Black History Month events hosted by COD throughout February.

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