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Parent wins first-ever Oxford's Got Talent

Parent (click for larger version)
April 27, 2011 - It's a safe bet that someday music fans will be downloading Paige Parent's latest hit on their iPods – or whatever device they'll be using in the future.

But how many of them will realize this talented Oxford Middle School sixth-grader jump-started her singing career by winning the first annual Oxford's Got Talent competition held last week?

"I was extremely happy," said Parent, who was voted Number One by the 550-member audience and a panel of three guest judges. "It was definitely a great opportunity. I really enjoyed doing it."

Competing against 19 other acts consisting of Oxford students ranging in age from 5-19, Parent rose to the top with her rendition of "Gift of a Friend," made famous by pop singer Demi Lovato.

She chose the song because "it had a good range for my voice and it suited me."

As the winner, Parent received a $25 VISA gift card and a lovely bouquet of flowers.

"I bought a hat with it. It was awesome," she said. "It was kind of like a beanie hat with little cat ears on it. It was really cute."

When asked about her plans for the future, Parent replied, "I want to be a singer – pop music, mostly."

"It's just fun. I enjoy getting up on stage in front of people," she said.

She currently takes singing lessons from 2010 OHS graduate Molly Bruner and is a part of the sixth-grade choir led by Director Jan Flynn.

"She's doing very well. She's clearly one of the leaders in the group," Flynn said.

As far as her singing ability, Flynn said, "She has a beautiful developing spin in her voice. She has excellent pitch. She has beautiful control over her vocal performance."

Parent's been singing for as long as she can remember.

"I used to sing opera around the house," she said.

Her favorite recording artist is Adele, the 22-year-old Grammy-winning English singer-songwriter whose genres include pop, soul, countrypolitan and country soul.

In addition to singing, Parent enjoys acting and currently has a role in the OMS Drama Club's production of Law & Order: Nursery Rhyme Unit, which hits the stage at 7:01 p.m. on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at the high school's Performing Arts Center.

Parent plays one of the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe's many, many children.

Oxford's Got Talent raised a total of $1,800 – $1,200 of which went to the Children of Israel Orphanage in Haiti and $600 to the OHS Theater Company.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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