Wellington, Fla – Feb. 22, 2017 – If it’s Wednesday night in Wellington and a classically trained soprano and tenor accept bravos for a Bocelli inspired duet as easily as a Peruvian-poncho-and-lamé-shorts clad performance artist receives raucous applause, it must be American Equestrians Got Talent (AEGT).
Now in its third year, the fundraiser is the best deal in town: for 60 bucks you’re entertained by a diversely talented array of singers, dancers, rappers and poets while you enjoy an internationally-themed buffet provided by Wellington Hospitality Service. AEGT is the brainchild of Robert Dover, chef d’equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, as a way to raise funds for high-performance equestrian programs. The crowd is appreciative and, in true Wellington style, diversity is appreciated and applauded. What a deal!
Week VII of AEGT proved no different. Two winners were crowned out of the 10 competitors: the singing duo of Robyn Marie Lamp and Edgar Miguel Abréu, and the light dancing Robert Nichols. They received $1,000 checks from presenting sponsors Gardy Bloemers, and Andrea Michna and Michael Kohl from Pistakee Bay Equestrian Club as well the chance to return for the March 19 Grande Finale.
Other talented performers at AEGT included 16-year-old Alex Who, 17-year-old Grady Lyman, Tarek Chakib, 6-year-old Levi Robinovitz, Marcella Peñaranda, 16-year-old Cassie Ortiz, Steven Hansen and 12-year-old Alyssa Marie Coon.
Lamp and Abréu impressed with their soaring Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman-style duets. The pair of singers are no strangers to the dressage crowd at AEGT, as they have performed numerous times at the Friday Night Stars during the Grand Prix Freestyles at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. AEGT judges Katherine Bateson-Chandler, W. Ashwood Kavanna and Steffen Peters were appreciative. Kavanna called them showstoppers, Peters pronounced them perfectly synchronized and Bateson-Chandler said she hoped that singing is what the two do for a living. After the singers earned the right to return for the second round of competition, they wowed the crowd and the judges with “Time to Say Goodbye."
The pair met 11 years ago when they were undergraduates studying vocal performance at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. They performed in ensembles together, but Lamp left to earn a master’s degree in vocal performance at Louisiana State University and Abréu earned a master’s degree in vocal performance from Florida International University. When she returned, they started working together again. The talented pair performed with Palm Beach’s Opera Fusion in “Not in My Town” where Lamp was the lead and Abréu was a supporting character, and Abréu was a Young Artist with Florida Grand Opera. Lamp is headed to New York in the summer to cover for a world-famous soprano as an understudy at Caramoor Opera. They haven’t chosen their music for the March Grande Finale but Abréu said, “We’ll duke it out. We fight, we love, but we end up with love.”
Nichols is moving from Ft. Lauderdale to Chicago Sunday to start a job as a digital marketing consultant with an advertising agency but will return for the Grand Finale. “Now I have a reason to come back and visit a lot sooner than I thought,” he said. “Everyone is so welcoming, so supportive. This doesn’t seem like a venue in which my type of talent would be appreciated, but it’s one that I’ve received over-whelming support from, so I’m all smiles.” Nichols was a recreational dancer who purchased his lighted whip prop at an anime convention. “Once I got the whip, I started dancing with it and I fell in love. It’s been a year and I’m obsessed with it. Who knows, I might have a job in New York at a club!”
American Equestrians Got Talent, a fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Programs, returns to Wellington, Florida, for its third year in 2017. Contestants participate in weekly auditions to earn a spot to compete in the season finale. Celebrity judges at each audition critique the performances and the audience's applause determines who will progress to the Finale.
AEGT FAST FACTS
6 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Show Begins
Wednesday, March 1; and Wednesday, March 8
The Grande Ballroom
12150 Forest Hill Boulevard
Wellington, Florida 33414
Click here for map
$1,000 will be awarded to the winning performer at each audition.
Robert Dover at: Rdover2@aol.com or(561) 758-6186
Individual Ticket: includes gourmet dinner $60
Individual Standing Room Ticket: $10
Table of 10: includes gourmet dinner $600
Ticket purchase for beverages, wine, beer and spirits
Purchase and Reserve Tickets and Tables:
Contact Patty Scott at (917) 318-0425 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington Hospitality Group (formerly Aaron's Catering of the Palm Beaches) Each audition week will be a themed event.
Auditions are open to the entire community, including competitors, owners, riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline and citizens of The Village of Wellington associated with the equestrian community. Please sign up in advance.
Robert Dover at: Rdover2@aol.com or(561) 758-6186 to set up rehearsal times the day and evening of the auditions. Walk-in performers may be accepted as time permits.
Week I - Olivia Willis, representing the sport of dressage.
Week II - Zach Duckworth, representing the sport of dressage.
Week III - Tie:
Brandon Olavarria, representing the sport of
Michael Boone, representing the sport of dressage.
Week IV - Kyuannee Richardson, representing the sport of
Week V - Roberto Gallardo, representing the sport of dressage.
Week VI - Laura León, representing the sport of dressage.
Week VII - Robyn Marie Lamp and Edgar Miguel Abréu,
representing the sport of dressage
Robert Nichols, representing the sport of endurance
When: March 19, 2017
Where: Adequan® Global Dressage Festival show grounds, Wellington, Florida
Caterer: White Horse Catering is the official caterer of the Winter Equestrian Festival and Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.
Prize: The winner, who will be named America's Most Talented Equestrian, will receive a grand prize of $10,000 sponsored by Robert Dover, chef d'equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, and Robert Ross, P.A., luxury equestrian real estate agent for Keller Williams.