Pinewood Teen Idols



Two eighth-grade students with a passion for performing represented Pinewood at the South Bay Teen Idol competition presented by the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center. These two talented singers, Sabrina Kazemipour and Esmi Pistelak, made the top 20 out of 80 total auditioners and competed in the semi-finals Saturday Feb. 13. Although Pistelak did not make it to the finals,
Kazemipour advanced to the top ten and will be competing in the final competition on April 2.

This competition was a chance for teenagers in grades 8-12 to meet and perform with others who share the same passion for music and performing. The first place winner receives $2,500 and their school also gets a donation of $500. Second and third place winners will receive $1,500 and $500 respectively. When the girls advanced to the semi-finals, they began participating in rehearsals twice a week and, despite the competition between them, the girls bonded with one another and the
other contestants.

Kazemipour and Pistelak not only performed their own pieces, but also have opportunities to work in groups, giving them a chance to both sing and choreograph their pieces. Along with displaying their skills to judges, the young students got the chance to work with professional coaches and polish their performances.

“The best part of the competition was probably getting to meet so many new people with the same love for music and getting advice from professional coaches. I think I gained a stronger and more developed voice because of all the practice,” Kazemipour said.

Competing was a first-time experience for both girls. Kazemipour has always had a love for music and has been singing since she was very young. She hopes to pursue music in the future. Kazemipour received a perfect score in the semi-finals when she performed “Nothing Compares 2 U” by Sinéad O’Connor. Completely new to any sort of competitive singing, she is both amazed and very excited to make it to the finals.

“This is one of the most amazing experiences and I can’t wait for the finals,” Kazemipour said.

Pistelak first discovered she loved music in first grade when she joined Middle Campus choir. She writes her own music and plays guitar, but had never performed competitively before. This opportunity has introduced her to great friends who share her love for music. For Pistelak, not getting to continue spending time with them was the most disappointing part about not making it to the top ten.

“I am definitely going to participate in it next year; because now I know what to expect and how to prepare better,”
Pistelak said.