Quintet shooting for New York debut

Alena Ruiz, center, talks about what winning the Dove Hair Care Brush with Greatness Sing4All contest would mean to the careers of the five Mesa State students who have entered as a group and are now one of the top four finalists. From left to right are Nathan Peterson, Emily Prock, Ruiz, Holly Longmore and Cody Jones.

Five Mesa State College students have the potential to have a very merry holiday season.

Emily Prock, Nathan Peterson, Cody Jones, Alena Ruiz and Holly Longmore are finalists in a national singing competition with a shot to win an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to perform as the opening act for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular on Dec. 28 at Radio City Music Hall.

None of the music theater majors, and aspiring Broadway actors, has been in New York City at Christmas time. It would, each said, be the chance of a lifetime.

“We want to be on stage,” Peterson said.

The quintet of singers entered the Dove Hair Care Brush with Greatness Sing 4 All competition in late November by submitting a video rendition of the song, “My Favorite Things.”

Jones mixed it up by writing a five-part harmony for the song.

In the video, the five sing a cappella while standing in front of the college’s pipe organ .

They were named one of four finalists earlier this month. Now, the Mesa State group is entrusting its fate to the public to vote via Facebook at http://www.DoveSing4All.com. The voting period ends Dec. 20, and people can vote once per day until then. The local group already is in second place.

Prock, Peterson, Jones, Ruiz and Longmore already went door to door at the Mesa State dorms to solicit votes.

Although the chance to perform in Radio City Music Hall would be a dream come true, each also had another small dream come true Wednesday thanks in part to being named a finalist.

Broadway legend Idina Menzel, who won a Tony Award for her lead role in “Wicked,” offered up a personal tutorial and advice session for the Mesa State students during a live video-conference.

The five were nervous and excited moments before seeing Menzel on Prock’s computer screen in Jones, Peterson and Prock’s small Glenwood Avenue apartment. Menzel praised the group for its ability and wished it luck in the competition.

“It’s really great,” Menzel told the five, who huddled around the computer with nervous grins. “You should be really, really proud.” The five screamed and jumped up and down after Menzel logged off.

They want to win and will continue to urge friends, family and everyone in the area with a Facebook account to log on and vote. If they win, they are holding out hope they will get to meet Menzel in person. If they don’t, they know for sure they will get a tour of Radio City Music Hall, tickets to the Christmas Spectacular and the chance to perform on one of the world’s most celebrated stages.

“This would mean everything to all our careers,” Peterson said.



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