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Freshman singer has shot at national stage

Freshman Ella Unruh is just now starting high school, but she is no stranger to the stage. After performing in her first Deanery musical in the Robinson Auditorium several years ago, she knew she had found her future career and has worked to pursue it ever since. From becoming lead singer in a Maxwell’s House of Music sponsored band to being had the lead as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. at Providence last May, she has developed her love of singing and performing. She has even auditioned for Disney and Nickelodeon, and on Sunday, Aug. 18, at 7:00 p.m., she will be in a talent search contest at the Kentucky Center for the Arts with hopes of performing on PBS.

The talent search Celebration of Music is for young performers ages 4 to 25. As the contest travels to different cities, two winners in each city will be entered into a nationally televised contest on PBS. Voting for the contest has already begun and will continue through the night of the concert. One vote per person will be accepted leading up the concert, when everyone can vote again, with each vote being worth 10 votes that night only.

Freshman Ella Unruh feels at home on the stage. In May, she played the role of Belle in Disney’s Beauty & Beast Jr.

Ella said she was surprised and thrilled to learn she was invited to be in the contest. She had previously received a call back after auditioning for Disney and for Nickelodeon but had not advanced further in those auditions. Two winners from each state will move on to the Celebration of Music finals, which includes performing a solo the night of the contest, recording a single to be released on iTunes or a YouTube video if the winner is a dancer, and taping the finale with performance prodigy Ethan Bortnick, who founded the contest.

“So far this contest has been a true blessing,” Ella said.

Ella can also be seen singing locally as the lead singer for the band The Roux, which will open for Juice Box Heroes at the New Albany Amphitheater on Aug. 30. The Roux also will be showcased on local television show Great Day Live tomorrow from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and will perform during Harvest Homecoming in New Albany in early October.

As a student at Maxwell’s House of Music, which formed her band, she also was able to record a music single. Her original song “Origami Eyes” can be downloaded on any streaming service.

Ella said she is looking forward to performing on the Robinson Auditorium stage as a Providence student, especially since that’s where she discovered her love of performing. She will audition for Providence Singers on Friday and for the spring musical later this year.

“From the moment I got on the Providence stage – I feel like that’s my home, like I belong there,” she said. “Finding that thing for me was one of the best moments of my life, being able to know what I want to do. I’m glad to learn it so early in life.”

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