Thank you to all our wonderful performers for Star Search 2019!
First Place – Zac Swan, magician
Zac Swan is a 16 year old magician, actor, and comedic personality. Captivating diverse audiences since the age of 8, Zac now performs for a wide array of venues in Southern CA, where he enjoys sharing joy and connection through magic. Zac is a featured Junior member and bi-monthly performer the Magic Castle in Hollywood. In addition to his passion for magic, Zac loves music, learning circus performance arts and acting in theater productions, taking on roles such as George Bailey from the beloved tale of It’s a Wonderful Life. Having performed in Comedy Evening at the Fox in 2013 at ten years old, he is so excited to return to the Fox stage for this year’s Star Search benefit show!
Second Place – Xplore Taekwondo Demonstration Team
Xplore Taekwondo Demonstration Team is a professional Taekwondo performance team established in 2010. The team aims to spread the art of Taekwondo by integrating martial arts with modern performance concepts, acrobatics, dancing, acting and music. Some of their more notable performances were at the LA Staples Center, LA Dodger Stadium, Hollywood Bowl, and on an ESPN live broadcast.
Third Place – AK & Klutch, Hip hop dancers
AK & Klutch are a dance duo repping the Inland Empire. They have danced at several venues including San Manuel Stadium, Ontario Improv, and many more. They are looking to expand their audience and improve their skills so they can take them to the next level.
Audience Favorite – Noa Gottesman, beatboxer
Noalunakanawai “Noa” Gottesman is a 17 year old beatboxer from Honolulu, Hawaii. The 2017 winner of the coveted “Brown Bags to Stardom” Hawaii State Talent Competition, Noa started beatboxing at the age of 7 years old and started performing on the streets of Waikiki at the age of 10 with his friend and formed the beatboxing duo “808 Beat Vox”. Noa’s passions include playing the drums, ukulele, guitar, music production.
Hanna Johnson, songwriter and musician
Hanna Johnson has been singing since she was 7, and loves writing and creating her own music. She plans on starting a career in country music, and will be attending Belmont University in Nashville when she graduates from Redlands HS later this year.
Zoe Petersen, singer, accompanied by Sophia Ohanian
Zoe Petersen is a music teacher at San Jacinto Valley Academy where she conducts choirs ranging from ages 7-17 as well as directing the musical theater program for elementary and middle school students. She is also the director of the University of Redlands Youth Choir program. Zoe spent most of her childhood singing in choirs and musicals, and she is very grateful for the opportunity to perform at Redlands Star Search with her co-worker and closest friend, Sophia Ohanian.
Laura Bean & Dylan Olds, singer/songwriters
Laura is a world traveling musician/songwriter that made her living in Berlin, Germany before becoming a music teacher in beautiful Redlands. Dylan is a performer/songwriter currently promoting his debut EP “Troubled Ones” in Southern California and Europe. The duo perform together for private events and weddings and are very excited to be participating in The Redlands Star Search. They founded and are both teachers at The Backstage Lesson Studio in downtown Redlands where they teach up-and-coming performers and songwriters.
Pilar Graciano, singer
Since she first began to speak Pilar was singing. It was obvious from the beginning that Pilar had a very unique and soulful voice. One of her favorite artists is singer Etta James.
Now, at age 12, Pilar has performed at such venues as Citizens Bank Arena, Corona Relay for Life, City of Corona Tree Lightning festivals, Yucaipa’s Music and Arts Festival and recently at the world renown NAMM festival in Anaheim, singing with her Band “4 4 5”. She also acted in the YouTube Music video ‘Free’ by Artist Jexzi , for the Save America’s Children foundation against bullying.
Andrew Thomas, jazz guitarist
Andrew Thomas is very excited to be performing in the 4th annual Redlands Star Search! Andrew has been playing guitar for about 13 years, but just recently started performing around Redlands and Yucaipa. He plays a jazz/funk/blues mix that’s usually calm and relaxing with soothing tones.
Andrew aspires to be a professional guitarist some day, playing with different groups in different events in different genres and just having fun while he meets new people and continues to grow as a guitarist.
Grace Stewart & Raul Valdez, singers
Grace Stewart and Raul Valdez are singers who met through their involvement in the Inland Master Chorale, in which they have performed together for the past two years. Along with choral music, they share a love of classical, operatic, and musical theatre repertoire. Grace holds a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and is planning to pursue graduate study in music. This spring, Raul will earn his M.M. in Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands. The pair spent last summer performing in Sweeney Todd and The Pajama Game with Redlands Theatre Festival. Most recently, they have been cast in a production of Into the Woods as Lucinda and The Wolf, respectively. They are thrilled to mark their debut as a duo at this year’s Star Search performance!
Karissa & Aurelie Juhas, songwriters and musicians
Karissa and Aurelie Juhas are sisters who love to play music together. Aurelie has been playing guitar for six years. Karissa has been playing piano for nine years and has won multiple awards, including the Steinway Society of Riverside County study award and first place in the Inland Empire Piano Festival. Karissa’s classical training influences the songs she writes, while Aurelie’s guitar adds a fun country flare. The girls’ music can be found on karissalynette.com and Karissa’s YouTube channel, “Karissa Lynette”.
Sophia Partain, musical theater
Sophia Partain is a 14 year old freshman at Citrus Valley High School in Redlands. She is an honor roll student and member of the California Scholarship Federation; she participates in theater, and is a member of Thespian Troupe 7716. She started dancing when she was three and quickly discovered her love of performing and musical theater. Sophia has been singing and performing in community theater for 4 years. Some of her favorite roles have been in “Oklahoma” and “Beauty and the Beast” at the Redlands Bowl, and “Anne” in “Anne of Green Gables” at LifeHouse Theater.
Opening the show – last year’s finalist The District 909!
The District 909 is a soulful acoustic duo from Redlands. KimberLee (vocals) and Chris (guitar) perform their own arrangements of popular classic rock, country and blues tunes. From the likes of Stevie Nicks to Led Zeppelin and Chris Stapleton to Prince, The District 909 acoustic duo has it covered. Regulars at the Tartan of Redlands, the State Street Winery and the Oak Glen Steakhouse Saloon, KimberLee and Chris guarantee a professional and fun-filled night of live music.