On Sunday, October 22, 2017, 10 high school finalists put on the performance of their lifetimes in pursuit of winning a $10,000 college scholarship. WKYC Reporter Monica Robins hosted the exciting evening in the prestigious Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square, as more than 800 audience members, along with a panel of judges, watched and voted for the 2017 Shining Star CLE winners.

View the 2017 Show Photo Gallery

Read about the Finals Performance & Competition in Cleveland Jewish News’s Article.

Congratulations to the four Shining Star CLE winners!











Meet the Top 10 Finalists!






Meet the 2 Alternates!


  • Round 1 – Video Auditions: July 1, 2017
    Eligible students can upload their video audition, singing a song of their choice, to shiningstarcle.org. Students have three minutes max. Piano accompaniment, personal instrument usage or acapella are welcome. A group of recognized music professionals will judge the online submissions and select the top 300 students to advance to the next round.
  • Round 2 – In-person Auditions: August 11, 12 & 13, 2017
    Students will perform at one of three in-person auditions, in front of a panel of judges, that will be held at various locations in Northeast Ohio. The top 25 students will advance to the semifinals.
  • Round 3 -Semifinals: Sunday, September 10, 2017
    Judges will select the top 10 students, and two alternates, to perform in the final competition.
  • Round 4 – Finals: Sunday, October 22, 2017
    The top 10 students will perform at the Ohio Theatre at Playhouse Square! A multi-piece band will accompany the students in a group performance, as well as their solo numbers. The top four students selected by the judges will be asked to perform a final song.

Meet Monica Robins

Finals Competition Host

Monica Robins 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). Learn more about Monica at http://www.wkyc.com/about-us/team-bios/monica-robins/15243869 or click the link for more information about her bands at https://www.monicarobins.com/the-ninja-cowboys—current-country-hits.

Meet Jordan Cooper

Artistic Director

Jordan Cooper is the artistic director for Shining Star CLE 2017 and will manage the entire production. His resume includes 20 years of classical piano training and musical directing throughout the East Coast and Northeast Ohio. Jordan’s love of theater and passion for the arts began at a young age and has flourished into a thriving theatrical career.

Jordan is an accomplished director, conductor, music director and pianist who has worked at Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Playhouse Square, Lakeland Civic Theatre, Cain Park, The Florida Repertory Theatre Company, Near West Theatre and the Cassidy Theatre. His favorite Cleveland theater credits include: Next To Normal, The Light In the Piazza, Violet, Bridges of Madison County (Lakeland); The Toxic Avenger, Godspell, The Frogs (Cain Park); The Little Foxes (Cleveland Play House); A Civil War Christmas and Peter & The Starcatcher (Dobama).