Davis rehearses

Molly Davis of Beaver Dam rehearses a vocal solo last week in Wayland Academy's Kimberly Chapel. The sophomore at the school is a finalist in the Rising Stars competition that concludes Saturday night at the Overture Center in Madison.

Wayland Academy vocalist Molly Davis aspires to be the next Rising Star at the conclusion of the Overture Center’s talent competition Saturday in Madison.

The sophomore from Beaver Dam advanced through two rounds of auditions this summer to attain her spot in the finals.

Overture’s Rising Stars is now in its sixth year. The competition included more than 80 auditions throughout the state, 40 callback performances and hundreds of decisions by judges in Oshkosh, Wausau, Madison and La Crosse.

Twenty-one acts will compete in the Rising Star Finals in the Overture Center’s historic Capitol Theater.

“Rising Stars continues to blossom,” Tim Sauers, Overture Center’s vice president of programming and community engagement, said in a press release. “With each passing year, we continue to explore new ideas to support and develop diverse, emerging talent and advance this program into a statewide talent search.”

Davis said she learned about Rising Stars from her music teacher, Andrew Estervig.

“He encouraged me to pursue it and I’m really glad he did because it’s been so much fun and I’ve gotten a lot of useful feedback,” she said.

Estervig said Davis is a strong singer who’s always striving to find places to perform.

Earlier this year, Davis earned semifinalist status in the national 2019 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition in the Early Teens Musical Theatre Category.

“I just kind of want to get my toe in everything and get as much experience as I can,” Davis said. “My first show was here in (Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre’s) ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ and ever since then, I’ve been passionate about performing.”

Davis, who began taking piano lessons at age 6, has prepared the song “She Used to be Mine” from the musical “Waitress” for the competition.

“I’ve chosen to perform it sitting at the piano playing,” she said. “I could have worn a costume, but I wanted to interpret the character my way.”

Participants in Rising Stars include all skill levels and talents (ages 6 and up). The free competition hosts three age categories aiming to win $750 in cash prizes. The grand prize winner receives $1,000, booking opportunities, a digital marketing consultation and the chance to perform at Overture during the 2020-21 season.

The finals will begin Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are available for $10 or $15 at overture.org or by calling 608-258-4141.

Follow Kelly Simon on Twitter @KSchmidSimon or contact her at 920-356-6757.

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