Opening Act - West student wins singing contest

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By Mercy Lopez

Sarah Lewis’ last-minute decision to audition on Saturday has landed her a chance to be the opening act during well-known country singer Matt Mason’s upcoming concert.

Lewis’ mother, Shannon Trujillo, persuaded her daughter to pull her guitar out of its case and audition just moments before the Young Country Singer Competition held on Saturday afternoon at Ilfeld Auditorium.

“I learned about the audition the day before,” said Lewis, a West Las Vegas High School senior. “I practiced each of my songs once the night before. And I had actually decided not to audition, but I took my guitar in case I changed my mind. I was sitting in the audience when my mom convinced me just to go through with it. I made it backstage at the very last minute.”

Lewis, who competed against roughly a dozen contestants, was able to wow the handful of judges to capture the seat. She played the guitar and sang “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel.

Lewis, 17, started playing guitar 15 months ago. Her first vocal and guitar performance was in December during a University Celebrity Christmas concert.

“I was nervous for the audition, and of course you’re always your worst critic. I didn’t think that I’d done terrible, but I didn’t think it was my competition,” Lewis said. “Once Donna (Martinez) had announced the two runners-up, I thought someone else was going to win. I had my hands ready to clap for them, and I ended up clapping for myself like an idiot.”

First runner-up was Kayla Gonzales and second runner-up was the duo of Nicole Robinson and Michael Rascon. They will also perform their musical talents prior to the Mason concert.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at Ilfeld Auditorium.

Ticket prices start at $10 for children 10 and younger and NMHU students with valid IDs, $15 for general admission and $20 reserved seating.

For advanced tickets, call 454-3238 or visit KEDP radio station located at 901 University Ave., studio 103 on the NMHU campus.