'Fort Meade's Got Talent' wins 16 awards
Show's director 'ecstatic' over honors
By Lisa R. Rhodes
"Fort Meade's Got Talent" took the prize in the Variety Entertainment and Talent Show category, beating out talent shows from Fort Knox, Ky., and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
The Fort Meade Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation was notified of the win on Nov. 1.
Francisco Jamison, administrator for Child, Youth and School Services who produced, directed and hosted the annual show, said he is "ecstatic" about the win.
"Truly, this was a labor of love and a team effort," Jamison said. "So being recognized for our efforts feels really good."
The show, performed Sept. 6, won a total of 16 awards in the festival's individual categories, including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Producer, Outstanding Artistic Director, Outstanding Set Design, Outstanding Female Vocal Soloist, Outstanding Comedy Performance and Outstanding Spoken Word Performance.
Performers were evaluated by a panel of judges from the Army's Festival of the Arts and Recreation Program, as well as judges from the U.S. Army Field Band.
"Fort Meade's Got Talent" has competed in the Army competition for four years.
The 2012 production, said Jamison, "was much improved because we started planning the show five months in advance and enlisted the help of more community members."
Awards will be presented at an invitation-only ceremony Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Youth Center. Garrison Commander Col. Edward C. Rothstein will attend the event.
"The Festival of the Arts is a wonderful outlet for our Soldiers and their families to both showcase their talents and enjoy the talents, sometimes unknown and untapped, that exist in our communities," Jamison said.
The goal of the Army program is to "provide opportunities for Soldiers and their family members and other authorized FMWR patrons to participate in garrison community recreation programs and special events that promote skill development, the fine arts, performing arts and general recreation," according to the festival's brochure.
In September, 16 youths and eight adults performed in "Fort Meade's Got Talent" at McGill Training Center. A record number of about 450 people attended, the biggest crowd since the show's inception in 2008.
The production featured a stirring solo of "Someone Like You," a song from the Broadway musical "Jekyll and Hyde"; a solo of the contemporary gospel song "Rain On Us"; a rendition of "Movin' On Up," the theme from the 1970s TV sitcom "The Jeffersons"; and a magic show.
Jamison said the "expertise and assistance" from the Fort Meade community helped to make "Fort Meade's Got Talent" a "top-notch event."
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