CONGRATULATIONS TO SHONA STRAUSER, 2011 DIVA OF THE YEAR!
Shona Strauser was crowned Juneau’s first-ever Diva of the Year! She beat out nine talented and beautiful diva competitors to take the top honors. Congratulations, Shona!
Who’s Your Diva was a fabulous night, thanks to our divas and volunteers! We’ll be back next year!
For the first time ever, Juneau got to experience a diva competition like no other! Ten of Juneau’s best known voices were handpicked by JLO to compete in “Who’s Your Diva?,” a fundraiser for JLO. Diva competitors performed two songs at the event, backed by Juneau musicians Michael Maas on piano/guitar, Simon Taylor on bass and Dale McFarlin on percussion.
Photography: Seanna O’Sullivan
Hair and makeup: Brendon Sullivan, Sara Race and Brenna Hall
Vote for your diva!
At the performance on September 10, audience members are encouraged to vote for their favorite diva so she can have the opportunity to be crowned Juneau’s first diva! Votes will be in the form of monetary contributions and divas are already pre-fundraising for their chance at the crown. All proceeds benefit JLO and your monetary contribution counts towards the diva of your choice. To make a donation and vote for your diva, please click on the “Vote Now!” next to her profile. Click a diva’s name to go to her profile and vote for her!
Alaska’s Kit began performing in public at the age of five. But even before she could talk she was singing. To Kit, music is the world, the essence of life and she would be nowhere with out it. To her this is another opportunity to share her joy and love of music with you. If you vote for her she will feel very honored and promises to entertain you with all the power her 15-year-old self has to offer. Thank you for supporting JLO and thank you JLO for this wonderful opportunity.
Eve is a frequent performer in opera/musical theater and choral productions in Juneau. When asked to sing for the Who’s Your Diva? fundraiser, the answer could hardly be anything but yes. Having served on the Opera To Go and New Mexico Dance Theater non-profit boards, the chance to support community theater in a fun way was too hard to pass up. If you can’t attend but want to contribute to the local non-profit arts community prior to the event, thanks for your support. For those attending, I plan to entertain! To all of you, my songs are dedicated.
Heather has a lifelong love of singing, having been involved in choral groups, community theater productions, and other performances since childhood. She’s participated in several Juneau Lyric Opera vocal workshops and is currently singing in JLO’s “Broadway Splash” workshop. She looks forward to many future singing opportunities through Juneau Lyric Opera, thanks to your generous donations!
Smashing, astounding, the golden voice of the north, the wicked witch of Hansel and Gretel, the Norwegian Jazz Diva, the funky cheese loving valkyrie in the Wristrockets, the vampire killer in [title of show], seen on stage with the musical greats of Norway, Ireland and Alaska. This humble Wonder Voice is setting out to wow America once again and secure a nice bit of change for this delightful organization that is Juneau Lyric Opera in the process. Vote your heart (and wallet) out for Chanteuse Kari.
Laura Haywood’s singing ability has more to do with chutzpah than talent. In addition to her voice teacher, Dr. Byron McGilvray, she credits her husband, John, for pushing her onstage, and her babysitter, Ivy, for letting her stay up late and watch 1950s musical variety shows. Laura remains unintimidated by the youth, beauty, and talent of her rival divas. A vote for Laura is a vote for enthusiastic amateurs everywhere!
Malinda has been surrounded by music her entire life. She enjoys all kinds of music but is especially excited to share her talents with her fellow divas. Good luck ladies, can’t wait to hear all your awesome voices!
Megan was born and raised in Juneau and has been singing and playing the piano for over twenty years. Growing up, she participated in many local musical organizations, including the Alaska Youth Choir, the Alaska Folk Festival, the Juneau Bach Society, and the Juneau Lyric Opera. Megan attended Berklee College of Music for her BA and then Boston University for her MA in Music Ed. Last year she opened her own private studio, North Star Music Academy, where she teaches voice and piano lessons. Megan is very excited to be a JLO Diva!
Patricia views the human singing voice as a miraculous instrument. She delights in playing with its flexibility and capacity for change, altering her singing style to serve the musical genre underlying each song – be it opera, jazz, choral, broadway belting, folk or country western. Patricia would be honored to serve as Juneau’s Diva, sharing her many voices with others – especially those who don’t yet identify themselves as singers — that they may be inspired to lift their voices in song. If you can talk, you can sing! Vote for Patricia and help support JLO.
Sarah developed a love for music at an early age and started singing with the Alaska Youth Choir at the age of eight, which allowed her to continue singing and developing her voice through different venues. Her love for music has continued to grow and she is very excited to be one of the Divas selected by Juneau Lyric Opera. This opportunity is a special one for Sarah and she is honored to be among the talented ladies performing at Who’s Your Diva night. She hopes you will come and enjoy the event and support her with your vote!
Shona loves to sing and perform. When not singing with Riley Woodford or performing at Perseverance Theatre, Shona hikes through the woods singing the tunes of super-divas Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin in hopes of keeping bears away. Shona is excited to sing with this cool group of ladies, and looks forward to being a diva, if only for a night.