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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) –Moravian College junior Jessica Smith walked away the winner at the Pennsylvania Campus Idol competition held recently at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
In the final round of competition, Smith competed against 13 students from four other schools, including two students from Moravian—Angela DiToro and Justin Driscoll. In the end, Smith out-performed three students from Haverford College with her rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” to claim the title.
In the first and second rounds, Smith chose to sing Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” and Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” respectively. In the third round, given a song she did not know, Smith improvised a melody for Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On a Prayer.”
Smith is a Jazz Vocal Performance major from Sparta, New Jersey. She is very active in musical groups at Moravian, participating in the Moravian College Choir, Women’s Choir, Jazz Vocal Ensemble, Fusion Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Big Band, and Marching Band. She is treasurer of the South Campus Dorm Council and Delta Omicron, the international music fraternity. She takes private classical and jazz lessons at Moravian with Dr. Yvonne Robinson and Lou Lanza.
Smith has been involved with vocal groups since middle school. Throughout high school, she participated in State, County, and Regional choirs. She has performed in places such as Carnegie Hall. Smith said she has a great interest in folk, jazz, and alternative vocalists like Sarah McLachlan, Dar Williams, The Indigo Girls, Jewel, Tori Amos, and Norah Jones.
She likes to sing everything from jazz to classical to folk to alternative music. “I like to be a well-rounded performer,” said Smith.
The prize for winning the competition includes eight hours of recording time and 100 CD copies of her demo recording. Campus Idol is a competition among participating Philadelphia and surrounding area colleges and universities organized by The Toner Sound Entertainment Group, The Auburn Moon Agency, and Eventions Productions.