"Let Me Be Your Star"! High Schoolers Benton Felty and Emily Homburger Blog About the Jimmy Awards

By Benton Felty and Emily Homburger
28 Jun 2013

Sheet music for the opening medley
Benton Felty: June 27

It's my birthday — the big "One Eight"! Had an awesome day today, and we got together with our medley groups and our voice coaches for the first time.

My coach is Leslie Odom, Jr., and let me tell you, he's fantastic. Everything he has told me has helped me so much with my vocal performance — that and listening to all the other wonderful performers! They blew me away!

When we did our medleys, Mr. Moricz was incredible with the transitions. Everyone sang their part, and everyone impressed each other. I can't wait to get at it tomorrow!

Tonight, we saw Annie. It was the third show I've ever seen on Broadway, and I got to see my favorite star, Anthony Warlow. He played Daddy Warbucks, and afterwards, when we questioned the actors on their performances at a post-show talkback, I got to learn all about him from Annie herself, Lilla Crawford. And, Jane Lynch was fantastically hysterical in the show. Definitely my best birthday yet!

Emily Homburger: June 27

Once again, I am completely blown away with how much I love this experience.

I was so nervous for the solos but my coach, Telly Leung, has this amazing way of connecting with us and making us find a connection to our song. Not only that, but all of us in his rehearsal room have already become a family.

Everyone knew I was struggling with a high note at the end of my song, and the pianist had the idea to have all my cast members stand behind me and sing it with me. Then I sang it by myself — still feeling their support behind me. When I was finally able to reach that high note, they all rushed me with a group hug, and we had our little "moment."

In all honesty, I had come into this experience with the mindset of, "This is not a competition. Don't let other people make you feel insecure." I never, ever imagined I'd feel the love I felt in that room today — completely unbelievable.

I can't wait to spend the rest of the week with my new family.