Lamorinda Idol Singers Go Live with In-Person Performances

(Dan Klein, Photographer)
(L-R) Miranda Klein, Curtis Resnik, Isabelle Porcella and Cara Impallomeni braved the heat to open the Orinda Fourth of July parade by singing our National Anthem. They are all winners of Lamorinda Idol Winter Edition which took place during the 2020 – 2021 academic year.

    Many young singers are jumping for joy because they will appear live as Lamorinda Idol finalists on Aug. 14 at the Orinda Community Center Park, 28 Orinda Way. Originally scheduled for Aug. 15 at the Orinda Theatre, the event was moved when a new Contra Costa County health directive required masking of performers in in-door venues.
    Steve Harwood, overall organizer as Chair of Lamorinda Idol, said, “I am delighted we are returning to in-person performances. At the same time, we are being very COVID careful, strongly recommending anyone not vaccinated wear masks and sanitizing microphones between uses.”
    This is year 16 for the competition. In 2020, the competition went virtual and in March, 2021, Lamorinda Idol – Winter Virtual Edition was held.
    Prizes ranging from $200 to $500 will be awarded to winners in different categories. There are 49 acts – 36 soloists and 13 groups — who will perform. 35 participants, some of whom are entered in the solo category as well, make up the groups. The list of finalists can be found at
    Lamorinda Idol finalists have been and will be busy leading to the Aug. 15 judging. Auditions began in May, followed by workshops interspersed with performances. Finalists performed at Lafayette Plaza Park on June 27 and Orinda Community Park on July 20. Those who are also Orinda Moraga Pools Association (OMPA) finalists will sing the National Anthem at OMPA Finals on August 7.
    Performances will continue after the Orinda Theatre competition. On Sept. 11, winners will perform at the Orinda Car Show, and on Sept. 18 they will sing at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival. In December, they will appear at the Lamorinda Arts Council Holiday Luncheon.
    The finals being at 11 a.m. on August 14 and will run to the awards ceremony at 7 p.m. Soloists compete in four categories by grade level; groups compete in three categories by grade level. Performers receive instant feedback from a panel of professional judges. Breaks in performance categories provide an opportunity for the audience to vote for its favorites.
    A combined score, decided 50 percent by judges and 50 percent by audience vote, determines the winners. Additionally, an Audience Award cash prize is presented to a soloist who is not also a category winner. Overall judging is based on vocal capability first, and on overall performance second.
    At press time, the judges set for the event include Melissa O’Keefe, Marilyn Levinson, Daren Carollo, Chadwick Somers, Lois Grandi and Linda DiVito. Sally Hogarty, Executive Editor of The Orinda News, who was a Winter Idol judge, is back as an emcee for the third time; Diane Dwyer is also an emcee.
    Hogarty said, “I always feel so humble watching these talented young people who are part of Lamorinda Idol. Whether I’m one of the emcees or judges of this very special event, I’ve been so impressed with the amount of talent and poise, even in the youngest competitors.”
    Lamorinda Idol Committee members, whose dedication and passion enabled this return to a live competition, included the following: Steve Harwood, June Lim, Allie Van De Poel, Carol Van De Poel, Lleyton Allen, Shelly Rose, Rena Wilson, Jacqueline Welch, Sonya Schroeder, Sean O’Conner, Doug Home, Rebecca Young, John Poole, Catherine Chen and Erin Ackdoe.
    Parent volunteer Joanne Home, proud mom of participant Alec Home, provided information about this event.
    While entrance to each of the performances in the main Orinda Theatre is free, donations are accepted. Lamorinda Idol is sponsored by the nonprofit Lamorinda Arts Council. Go to to learn more.

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