Heights High senior wins Shining Star CLE
The first time Kristen Lyons performed on stage was in a youth production of "The Pied Piper." She played a rat whose sole job was to scurry across the stage and steal a pot from a townsperson, who happened to be played by her sister. The Heights High senior has come a long way since then, and was recently named the grand-prize winner of Shining Star CLE, an annual singing competition, sponsored by Montefiore.
Lyons has been singing as long as she can remember, and hopes to study musical theater in college next year. According to her mother, Andrea Lyons, “She joined this competition as a way to give back to the community.” The money raised through admission tickets for the final event helps fund memory care units at Montefiore and The Weils.
High school students from eight counties are invited to submit audition tapes to Shining Star CLE. Singers advance through a series of steps to make it to the final ten. These finalists participate in a week of seminars and rehearsals, and receive individual feedback from professional musicians.
Lyons said that she and the other contestants “became so close during our week of rehearsal. We were all so supportive of one another that I felt like I had already won.” And win she did.
Following her performance of “I’m Not Afraid of Anything” at the Ohio Theater at Playhouse Square on Sept. 22, judges announced her first place win. The honor comes with a $10,000 scholarship and an additional $2,500 for Heights High’s vocal music department.
Lyons is a member of Singers, a bass in the Women’s Barbershoppers, and the student choreographer for "Damn Yankees," Heights High’s fall musical production. Performances are on Wednesday, Oct. 30; Friday, Nov. 1; Saturday, Nov. 2; and Sunday, Nov. 3. Tickets are available online at www.showtix4u.com/event-details/35171.
Krissy Dietrich Gallagher
Krissy Dietrich Gallagher is a longtime resident of Cleveland Heights, a graduate of the Heights schools and a former Coventry School teacher. She is a freelance journalist under contract with the CH-UH city school district.