The Voices of Frankston Uncovered

Three lucky local singers have taken home the title of The Voice of Frankston, winning the inaugural competition last month after successfully progressing through online video auditions and the semi-final. Organisers of the event, Fun-Key Music, received around 120 applications from local talent, with 30 progressing to the semi final and 13 to the grand final on November 13. From there, three winners were decided at the sellout event at Frankston RSL, judged by Jackie Sannia (The Voice), Simon Imrei (PEARL’s editor), Alex Burton (Amber Mic Productions), Tammy Ryan (Frankston Arts Centre) & more. In the end, Belynda Monro, Cail Baroni and Mark Peers (all pictured) won the Junior (up to 15), Adult (16-59), and Senior (60+) sections respectively.

Belynda Monro is in year 7 at Mt Erin Secondary College and although she was only introduced to the stage last year in the school talent quest, she has always loved singing, with influences including Little Mix, Katie Perry and One Direction. When she heard her name announced as the winner, she thought she was dreaming. For 13-year-old Belynda, this could be the start of a promising singing career she intends to pursue, telling PEARL, “I really, really want to be a singer when I get older.”

 For Cail Baroni, The Voice of Frankston is the first competition has entered since X-Factor earlier this year, where he progressed to the last day of boot camp among 50 other applicants. Having began singing six years ago, Cail does local gigs performing both cover songs and original compositions. “I’ve never won anything before so I was stoked to be part of the final,” Baroni told PEARL. “To finally win something like that was great.” With plans to make the most out of his prize pool, Baroni is aiming to have a music clip filmed and posted on YouTube in the not-too-distant future.

Mark Peers’ story is a little different; his daughter-in-law submitted his application without him even knowing! Having sung years ago in pubs and hotels, Peers was more interested in yachting, only recently performing country shows in Red Hill and Bunyip and taking home a Capital Country Music Association Award in Tamworth for Yodeler of the year. For The Voice of Frankston, in his own words, Peers ‘took it all a bit lightly.’ “I’m 69 years of age and getting old,” he said. With only two finalists for the seniors section, so Peers encourages more seniors to give it a shot. “It’s a great opportunity for elderly people to get out there, cause as far as I’m concerned you’re never too old.”

The three ‘Voices’ each won a share in the $10,000 prize pool, which includes the filming of a video clip for a song of their choice from AV Friend Productions, a professional recording session, make up for a CD cover shoot from Rhiannon Pritchard Beauty, a CD cover photo shoot photographed by Danni Knight Photography, support and vouchers from local businesses and a chance to perform at local events like the Frankston Water Front Festival and Frankston Children’s Day Festival.

The dedicated organisers of the event, Fun-Key Music, are a private music studio established more than 10 years ago. Teaching singing and performance skills to students since 1997 within Seaford and Frankston, they now do private singing, piano, guitar, group vocal classes, and school-based sessions. Their mission, and the mission that underpinned this highly successful competition, is to teach singing and performance skills in a fun, non-threatening environment without prejudice to previous experience or ability, with the aim of developing confidence and self-esteem alongside basic music, drama and performance requirements.

 If you missed the grand final, don’t panic! Channel 31 will screen The Voice of Frankston on December 8 and 15 at 9pm, so be sure to watch these talented performers on your TV screen!