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DC-CAP gives Wilson students a chance to win money for college

This year seven of Wilson’s most talented students qualified for the third round of the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) talent competition, The Sounds of Movie Music. Four of the students qualified for their vocal talents, two for their ability to play an instrument, and one for dance.

On Friday, February 19, the ten finalists were revealed, and two of Wilson’s seven initial contestants qualified for the final round. Seniors Saloni Rao, for her vocal talents, and Samuel Wilson, for his piano performance, have both moved on to the final stage and will be in the final performance in April.

Every year DC-CAP commits to helping students from DC public and charter schools enroll in college. In the past couple of years, through The Sounds of Movie Music talent competition, they have created an opportunity for students to win money using their talents that will then go towards their college tuition. 

The competition is set up in a series of rounds. Each student first must go to a DC-CAP advisor who will help them fill out all the necessary forms. After that, they must secure an audition date and write an essay about how music has influenced their life. Then they audition in front of a panel of judges who score them on presentation and talent. Each student is ranked based on their audition and the top 40 with the highest scores then move on to the next stage. Each of the top 40 students is scheduled to record a video audition which is uploaded online for anyone to vote on, rating their performance from one to five stars.

The results of the voting were released on February 19, 2016 and the top ten chosen are immediately granted two thousand dollars. The top ten candidates rehearse and train with professionals from the industry to prepare for their final performance on April 26, 2016 at the Kennedy Center. Rao and Wilson will be participating in this process. This performance will be judged by three celebrities and the winning student will be granted ten thousand dollars. Second place will be awarded six thousand, and third place will get four thousand.

Junior Lorin Kayla Holland has participated in the competition every year she’s been in high school but this was the first year she made it to the third round. Holland sings in Wilson’s choir and was introduced to the program by choir teacher Lori Williams. Although Holland didn’t advance to the final round, she explained that it’s been a great learning experience. “I think the competition helps young artists improve with stage presence, public speaking, confidence and a lot of other things,” Holland said in a text.

Junior Kim Manalang, like Holland, has also auditioned as a singer for this competition all three years she’s been in high school. Manalang explained how the competition has helped her understanding of the music industry grow. “It gives you a little taste of what the music industry is about,” she said, adding, “you have to stand out and be who you are.”