Shining Star CLE is a unique solo-singing competition giving Northeast Ohio high school students the chance to compete for college scholarships. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, watch as the Top-10 Finalists put on the performance of their lifetimes live-streamed and open to the public on September 13, 2020.
Meet Connor Bogart O’Brien
The Artistic Director
Connor Bogart O’Brien, making his debut as artistic director for Shining Star CLE 2020 and will manage the entire production. A classical violinist since the age of five, Connor Bogart studied opera at the Eastman School of Music in New York, and has since toured the globe as a professional performer.Notable theater performances have included leading roles in Miss Saigon Sweeney Todd (Anthony) The Last Five Years (Jamie) Company (Bobby) Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Joseph) Forever Plaid (Sparky), as well as Altar Boyz (Abraham).A native of Northeast Ohio, Connor decided to leave the violin behind to study vocal performance/opera at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in New York (U. S. News and World Report ranked #1 Music Conservatory in America 2010-2012) under the direction of Dr. Robert McIver. During his time at Eastman, he also auditioned for, and was subsequently accepted into the nationally ranked male acappella group, The University of Rochester Yellowjackets, (as seen on NBC’s “The Sing Off”) as a featured soloist. After recording several award winning albums with the group, a love of singing without instruments took hold and in subsequent years led to executive producing future Yellowjacket albums and being a national finalist for the world famous vocal band Rockapella in their search for a new second tenor. Connor has been a featured soloist with the National Repertory Orchestra, The Cleveland Pops, The Symphony of Southeast Texas, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, The Rochester Philharmonic, The Toledo Symphony, The Mansfield Symphony, The New Haven Symphony, The Akron Symphony, The Rappahannock Pops, Music In The Mountains (The Dallas Symphony), The Fireland Symphony, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has served as executive music supervisor and composer to The Discovery Channel for their series, The Kustomizer, and as a songwriter, had had several of his original songs featured on national television.“Inside Out”, the lead single from his self titled first album, vaulted to the number one radio position in France, and held the position for several weeks. Two full-length albums followed, “Soliloquy” which featured a cover story in Scene Magazine, as well as the hit single “Ready To Fall”, a national semi-finalist entry in Sony Music and Clear Channel’s “Radiostar” competition hosted by Ryan Seacrest and KISS FM’s Elvis Duran. His third album “Prizefighter” is his latest rock release.He has since toured the U.S, and along with his band, has performed as the opening act on over 20 national tours, including Ashlee Simpson, Huey Lewis and The News, Edwin McCain, Richard Marx, Rick Springfield, Hall & Oates, and Mariah Carey. Connor can currently be heard behind the scenes singing and recording jingles for companies such as Hasbro Toys and American Greetings, performing on tour with native Clevelander and Grammy nominee Jim Brickman, as well as in over 32 countries worldwide as a headlining act on Princess, Holland America, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean cruise lines with his previous group of Broadway veterans, “The Matinee Idols”, and his current solo show available in both English and Mandarin Chinese.
Meet Monica Robins
The Virtual Finals Performance & Competition Host
Monica Robins is returning for her fourth year as host. She is an Emmy award-winning reporter and senior Health correspondent at WKYC, a strong advocate for improving the lives of those living with dementia and the lead singer in two local bands – Monica Robins and The Whiskey Kings (Rock) and Monica Robins and The Ninja Cowboys (Country).
It’s easy! Just record yourself singing your favorite song and upload your video audition here. Three minutes max • Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are preferred, but recorded accompaniment is allowed.
- Round 1: Online video auditions between April 1 and July 1, 2020
- Round 2: Virtual “live” auditions week of July 12, 2020
- Round 3: Virtual Semifinals July 26, 2020
THE VIRTUAL FINALS PERFORMANCE & COMPETITION
SUNDAY, September 13, 2020 • 7 PM
THE JUDGING PROCESS
Contestants will be judged by independent, accomplished, music professionals representing the wonderful diversity of Northeast Ohio and who are qualified in a wide variety of musical genres including, but not limited to, pop, R&B, classical, jazz and musical theater. For the online audition screening, live auditions and semifinals, a panel of judges will choose the students who will advance to the following rounds. The Finals judges will select the top four students following the initial pre-recorded performances. The top four will perform a second time, then the audience, in conjunction with the judges, will select the order of the winners.
THE MENORAH PARK FOUNDATION
As the sponsor organization and fundraising arm Menorah Park, The Menorah Park Foundation will be producing the fourth annual season of this solo-singing competition, Shining Star CLE. The organization will be soliciting sponsorships from corporate and individual donors, selling advertising space for a playbill and will hold a “telethon” during the virtual FINALS. All proceeds over and above the cost of the production and college scholarships will be used to support a wide variety of dementia/memory care services as well as COVID-19 expenses on our campuses and in homes throughout Northeast Ohio.