Academy Sponsors Spring2017At the age of three, Dr. Roderquita Moore had begun to sing, where her mother soon later discovered that talent. Her mother then took Dr. Moore to someone who could assist in further improving Dr. Moore’s ability to sing. At the age of 8 she had sung her first album and directing choirs at the age of 12. Now she is a mentor for young people, and wanted the young people to put themselves out there and make themselves heard. In 2015 and 2016, Dr. Moore became a participant in Madison’s Overture’s Rising Stars.

“The first time I auditioned for Rising Stars it was more about the young people I mentored.” Dr. Moore said, “I took a group of young people with me. I said I can’t ask them to put themselves out there if I’m not willing to do the same. That’s the reason I initially made the decision for even doing the Rising Stars.”

Overture’s Rising Stars is a program that promotes and showcases talents within the community. Emily Goretski, Overture Center for the Arts’ Programming and Community Engagement Coordinator, said, “We are looking for musicians, dancers, poets, jugglers, acrobats, whatever your talent is, we want to see it and put it on the stage.”

While Overture’s Rising Stars searches for all sorts of talents, the only performance and talent that can not enter are performers with animals. Overture’s Rising Stars accept performers of the ages six and up and performers do not have to come individually. Overture’s Rising Stars often gets a variety of youth performers, teens, adults, as well as a variety of individuals, dance groups and bands.

Winning Overture’s Rising Star gets you the chance to perform in Overture’s next season, and even making the finals will keep you in touch with Overture and may lead to additional performance opportunities. People are welcomed to audition year after year, and some previous performer do go back.

In fact, in 2016, Moore won the Adult Division in Rising Stars in her second attempt. Since then she was given the opportunity to sing at Overture Center, including at the arts center’s season announcement event.

During the process of the auditions, she believed it to have been simple, with no pressure. When Moore first entered, she recalls about 200 participants. With this many people participating it may seem overwhelming to some, but Moore says it’s not a competitive environment.

“I believe you should come in with an open mind. Relax, knowing the environment is not a competitive environment. Everyone is rooting for each other. Not every competition will that be the case,” she said.

Last year, Elijah Edwards, 11 years old at the time he entered Rising Stars, was a Rising Star finalist. After reaching the finals, Edwards was given many opportunities to perform and be a part of locally-produced Four Seasons Theater musicals like Big Fish, then later he performed in The Bed. Edwards said, if he hadn’t entered Rising Stars, he would never had been given such opportunities.

“Never say no. Always say yes. Follow your passion, it can open a lot of doors,” said Edwards.

Rising Stars is a way for the community to portray their talents, where the winner and Rising Star finalists are given an opportunity to perform at Overture Center and other venues. Registering for auditions and more details about Overture’s program, Rising Stars can be founded at the website,, Auditions will be held at Full Compass on Saturday, August 5 and Saturday, August 19 at Overture. The finals will be Saturday, September 9.

This piece was produced by a student journalist in the Madison365 Academy. To learn more or support our education programs, visit