Meet the winners of Monroe’s Got Talent

Monroe. For the recent Monroe’s Got Talent event, 120 competed to perform. These were the three winners among the 22 who did perform.

| 28 Jun 2022 | 10:42

The first annual Monroe’s Got Talent last June 11 attracted a crowdity and gave local performers the chance to display their talents. While each of the 22 contestants amused the crowd with their unique performance, three rose to the top and were voted winners by the panel of judges. Here are their stories:

Third place: James Dawson, 17, a Chester resident and member of the local band Mimicking Mars, got his start performing in elementary school musicals, his first being “Aladdin”. From sixth grade onward, he took guitar and vocal lessons to hone his skills. Flash forward to 2020. He and his friends formed Mimicking Mars, a relatively new band that has been getting gigs in the area.

Dawson listens to a variety of music but especially gets inspiration from blues-rock, classic rock, and 80s metal. Some of his biggest influences include Van Halen, Bruce Springsteen, and Guns and Roses to name a few.

At Monroe’s Got Talent, Dawson was a little nervous but enjoyed performing for the crowd. “That’s definitely the biggest crowd I’ve played in front of...but it was a very exciting night,” Dawson said.

Moving forward, Dawson hopes to continue playing music forever but has backup plans just in case.

“I would love to make it big and be able to perform for the rest of my life. If I don’t, I’ll probably go to school for something that would keep the music in my life, and maybe get a job in the business side or maybe even teach music...but until then, I’ll keep performing and keep going out and see what happens,” Dawson said.

Catch Dawson and Mimicking Mars perform in town at the Monroe Summer Concerts series on August 13.

Second place: Julia Roome, 12, a Warwick resident, started singing before she could even speak. She first got into theater following in her sister’s footsteps, playing in “Annie,” “The Little Mermaid”, “Hairspray”, and many more. She also plays multiple instruments including piano, violin, ukulele, and guitar, on top of writing her own songs.

“I love to tell my stories, and I love when people can relate to them. And I just want people to feel comfortable,” Roome said.

For the show, Roome performed her original song “I’m Gunna,” and despite being the last act, she received energetic applause.

“It was really exciting to see all those little kids and all the grownups cheering for me. And then hearing that I got second place and getting this trophy is just so cool because you know that your hard work pays off,” she said.

In the future, Roomes hopes to reach stardom like artists she looks up to. “My dream is to be as big as Ariana Grande and Pink and Billy Ellish...And I want people to start to know my name and listen to my music,” Roome said.

Roome’s next performance will be live at the Taphouse in Sugarloaf on July 3.

First place: Ariana Gomez, 14, a Monroe resident, started singing very early, thanks to her brother’s guidance. Following that, she practiced various songs, took vocal lessons, performed in school plays, and even joined a choir. One of her biggest inspirations is Ariana Grande, for “her music and the way she presents herself,” she said.

Gomez entered the talent show in honor of her late uncle, who suggested she enter prior to the pandemic. She chose to sing “In the Stars” in remembrance of him.

“To be honest, I was just thinking of my uncle the whole night, just trying to do it for him and my aunt,” Gomez said.

Gomez will take advantage of the free studio recording time she won and start writing original music. I’ll try to get into more live events and meet people, because singing is definitely something that’s important to me and it’s not just a hobby. It’s something that I would love to pursue in the long run,” she said.

Gomez will perform at Monroe’s fireworks show on July 1.