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Instead, Antioch’s Toree McGee had to wait three seemingly excruciating days to learn she was a finalist for a chance to sing with award-winning country musician Keith Urban. McGee found out Aug. 25 she was one of five singers heading to Urban’s concert at the Shoreline Amphitheatre. “Initially, I was really anxious when waiting for the results,” she said. “Then, they read off four names, so I held my breath until they finally announced me last. My heart was pounding and I was so relieved and immediately excited.” The competition was sponsored by San Jose radio station 95.3 KRTY.

Like hundreds of others, McGee sent in her audition tape, landing her in the Top 10, From there, it was a matter of folks viewing her 44-second performance and voting for her, Now, she may get the chance of a lifetime and perform “We Were Us” with Urban, an “American Idol” judge, But first another wait begins, Urban’s management team now must review the five tapes, with the winner named at the concert, The Antioch native said she has been singing her whole life, She has performed a variety of genres white ballet slippers for flower girl — from opera to rock to hip hop — but prefers country..

“It’s my favorite by far,” she said. “It’s what I grew up listening to.”. Now 28, she has been singing since she started singing lessons and competitions at age 7. At 18, she began performing with live bands. She said music has always been her passion. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do. From kindergarten when they ask you what you want to be when you grow up until now, the answer has always been a singer.”. This is despite the fact that McGee, a 2004 Deer Valley High grad, walked away with golf scholarships in hand.

While at Deer Valley, she was the first freshman to advance directly to choir, “After that, I spent the next three years in competition show choir,” in addition to a touring choir with Golden Hills Community Church, Currently she is a member of several area music groups, including an acoustic duo, white ballet slippers for flower girl She has performed with the Toree McGee Band, Rodeo House, the Joel Nelson Band, as well as Self Proclaimed Heroes, an ’80s cover band where members dress as a super hero, Not surprisingly, McGee dons a Wonder Woman costume..

She said the best part of her career is doing what she loves for a living. “There’s no feeling like being onstage, seeing people genuinely enjoy what you’re doing up there, and watching them dance and sing along. It’s so much fun.”. Next on her to-do list: recording her first demo of original songs in December when she heads to Nashville in hopes of getting a record deal. But now, back to the business of Keith Urban. If she gets the ultimate prize of performing with him, she said it will be “an incredible experience to sing with a talent like Keith. He’s amazingly talented. Just to meet him would be great, but to share the stage and sing with him in front of thousands of people is something I can’t even describe. It would be a great experience …”.

With money raised throughout the year from the Latino community, the committee hopes these scholarships will help encourage youth to attend college and continue their education, Selecting Gomez, who graduated from white ballet slippers for flower girl Pittsburg High School last June and will attend the University of California Davis this fall, sends a clear message to the area’s youth that attaining further education is well worth the effort, organizers say, Gomez, through his hard work and involvement in the Latino community, was a natural choice for the award, Alfredo Galindo, a teacher at Pittsburg High School, knows Gomez through his Spanish classes and as adviser for the school club, Latinos Unidos, When asked by committee member Lisa Bautista Vela for a deserving candidate, Gomez immediately came to mind..

Gomez not only participated in Latinos Unidos, serving as its president in his junior year, he also started the Folklorico dance troupe. He set up practices, made arrangements for performances and danced at school and multicultural events. “Carlos was perfect for the scholarship, he was ahead of all the rest,” Galindo said. “He was like a leader. When it comes to being a leader, he had everything; the students respected him and would go to him for advice.”. Gomez added that he believes the scholarship committee recognized his commitment to the community, his work with the TS Academy mentoring and tutoring young children and the translating he would do at parent-teacher conferences for non-English speaking parents.

“I think the main thing is that I was always ready to be of service and whenever someone asked me to do something I made time for it,” Gomez said, “I put white ballet slippers for flower girl aside my things and never said no to anyone who needed my help.”, At UC Davis Gomez plans to major in biochemistry and to continue his involvement in Chicano and religious groups, and has already been accepted to participate in a retreat for Latinos, His career direction toward health care is one that he believes would make his parents proud and allow him to give back to the community..



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