Pete Pollard, Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The annual Army-wide vocal competition for Operation Rising Star took place Sept. 18 and the finals were held Sept. 19 at the Grafenwoehr Performing Arts Center at Tower Barracks.
Begun in 2004, Operation Rising Star is a singing competition similar to reality TV show American Idol.
The competition began here at the garrison level. The first place winner qualifies for international competition in San Antonio.
The first round was scored by three judges. The thirteen contestants competed for the seven finalist slots, where both the judges and the audience participants scored the singers. Only the top three vocalists in USAG Bavaria were selected.
The winner of the competition was Isabelle Robin, wife of Pfc. Evan Robin, who is assigned to the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. Isabelle performed the song “Listen”, recorded by Beyonce and won a cash prize of $750.
Isabelle qualifies for international competition in San Antonio where contestants compete for an all-expense-paid trip to record a 3-song CD. Isabelle has been singing since the age of 9 and has studied opera as well as performed pop and jazz over the years.
The second place winner was Nicole Munden, whose husband David is assigned to the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry Regiment. Nicole sang music by Nora Jones and walked away with a check for $350 for her efforts. She will begin a teaching career at Netzaberg Elementary School this year.
Staff Sgt. Kurt Legnon from 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion in Hohenfels won third place honors and a check for $200.