May 4, 2019

Talented young people from throughout the metropolitan area will be featured in the ninth annual Got Talent, scheduled for 7 p.m. June 1 at the Lee’s Summit High School Performing Arts Center, 400 SE Blue Parkway. Tickets for the show are $15 and are available at, at both Lee’s Summit Hy-Vee stores and at the Lee’s Summit Price Chopper stores.

A total of 19 individuals — including 15 solo acts and two duos — were selected through a rigorous audition process. The young people, ranging in age from 10 to 18, include vocalists, instrumental performers, musical theatre acts, dancers and a magician.

Got Talent is open to metro-area youth 18 years and younger with students competing for awards as well as three scholarships — $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000. The prestigious event is a successful fundraiser for Lee’s Summit CARES, a nonprofit community coalition focusing on youth substance abuse prevention, parenting and character development. Last year’s Got Talent raised close to $13,000 through ticket sales and sponsorships.

Performers making the cut for the June 1 show are:
● Magician: Jacob Joseph Brown, Lee’s Summit, age 12
● Vocalists: Sam Aubuchon, Blue Springs, 18; Jordan Haas, Lee’s Summit, 17; Emma Hite, Belton, 12; Mekhira Taylor, Lee’s Summit, 16; and Jaxie Smith, Shawnee, 14
● Instrumental performers: Keaton Bond, Lee’s Summit, 12; Alaina Garcia, Olathe, 11; Clare Hotze, Lenexa, 17; Matthew Newkirk and Caleb Walters, Overland Park, ages 17 and 16; Simeon Prusia, Lee’s Summit, 17; and Selah Menee Wheeler, Lee’s Summit, 15
● Musical theater: Tristan Jenkins, Olathe, 11; London Kearns and Mia Sparks, Lee’s Summit, ages 17; and Hayden Wood, Lone Jack, 10
● Dancers: Kyleigh Morgan Stitt, Blue Springs, 12; and Korbin Thaller, Pleasant Hill, 13.

“After nine years of competition, we continue to be impressed with the caliber of performers at this annual event,” said Rachel Segobia, Lee’s Summit CARES director and Got Talent chairperson. “It’s an excellent opportunity for area youth to gain experience, support and insight in an affirming environment as they develop their talent.”

In addition to providing funding for a good cause, Got Talent has launched the careers of several of the event’s standout performers. Included among successful Got Talent alumni are Kennedy Newell, recently selected for the Royal Ballet School in London; Elaine Watson, who performed the National Anthem for the Kansas City Royals in 2018 and 2019; and State Line Drive, an opening act for Tate Stevens in 2016 with a recently released CD.

This year’s show will include a kick-off performance by Matt Lewis, a nationally recognized entertainer and executive producer of SimonWill Entertainment. Lewis will present his Vegas-style impersonation of Elvis Presley, which he has performed before enthusiastic audiences throughout the world.

For the eighth year in a row, Lewis will serve as a Got Talent judge. Also serving on the three-person judge panel are Christina Burton and Steve Serrano. A dancer and choreographer for numerous regional theaters, Burton teaches for the Kansas City Ballet School and is an adjunct professor of dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Serrano is head of programming and the host of Mix 93.3-FM’s interactive evening show and serves as the entertainment/music correspondent for Better KC on KCTV5.

All three judges have ties to the Lee’s Summit community.

Emcee for this year’s event will be Michael Dragen, a Liberty School District band instructor. He has appeared on the stages of the New Theatre Restaurant, Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, American Heartland Theatre, Coterie Theatre, Theatre for Young America, Theatre Heritage and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Dragen and his wife, Lindsey, are founding members of Summit Theatre Group.

To learn more about the Got Talent show, tickets, audition process, judges and performers, visit The website also includes information about how to become a sponsor of the talent competition.

For more than three decades, Lee’s Summit CARES has worked to maintain a healthy and safe community for children, youth and families. For more information, visit or call (816) 347-3298. You may also follow Lee’s Summit CARES on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.