Six singers with Manteca roots are laying it all on the line today for a chance to get onto a show that could change their young lives forever.
Two previous Manteca Idol winners, Cheyenne Milligan and Jessica Ochoa, will join former contestants Katelyn Johnson Reggie Ginn (Mary Wells) and a pair of former East Union Choir performers – Roem Baur and Cody Giannotti – at the tryouts for NBC’s “The Voice” in San Francisco to earn a shot at the wildly-popular singing competition that has emerged to rival American Idol.
The winner earns $100,000 and a Universal Republic recording contract.
Milligan made a name for herself at a young age as an outstanding performer in the Manteca Youth Focus contingency that traveled throughout the area showcasing the talented youth in the South County. She would claim the Manteca Idol title in 2007, and become a staple at other talent competitions throughout San Joaquin County in subsequent years.
Ochoa won the Manteca Idol title in 2006 after blowing the judges away following an on-stage hiccup where she froze, dropped the microphone, and bolted for the prep room that had been set aside for the contestants. Her score in the finale more than made up for the mishap. Johnson was a perennial finalist in the competition – performing at all three of the locations that have housed the talent contest – and also participated in Manteca Youth Focus.
The two gentlemen from Manteca, however, have pursued music in a much different way.
While Baur was a standout performer at East Union and acted in several musicals in Manteca following his graduation, he got his start playing “house concerts” and eventually parlayed that into small local shows before packing up and heading to Nashville. He now plays acoustic café shows in San Francisco.
Giannotti also resides in San Francisco where he pursues a variety of musical interests including writing and performing music as well as experimenting with new sounds – gaining a reputation as a “flute beatboxer” with a handful of other artists. He also earned a graduate degree in fine arts.
Rounding out the Manteca contingent is singer-songwriter Reggie Ginn – an East Union graduate and Manteca Idol alum that performed under her given name of Mary Wells. Ginn, who typically plays small, intimate shows with her keyboard and deeply-personal lyrics, is putting out her first CD with a backing band and will be playing a handful of shows in Northern California to treat fans to the full sound.
The auditions will be held at the South San Francisco Conference Center near the San Francisco International Airport.