Apollo Live: Student Talent Competition

Alison Pfaff, Assistant Photo Editor

For the third year, Apollo Live, College of DuPage’s talent contest showcased an array of student performers from dance to heavy metal guitar solos. Ten student acts performed in the Belushi Theater on March 9.

Michael Mclnerney, who performed “Dust My Broom” by Elmore James with guitar and harmonica, won first place. He, along with trio Haley Mae Mott, Morgan Mott and Miray McElroy, placing second, and Caryna Martinez-Rios who placed third, will perform at Lakeside Pavilion this summer.

Mclnerney, a music major from La Grange, credits his influence in the blues to his parents, as well as Chicago’s rich history. He is inspired by early blues artists, even from the 1920s and 1930s, to the 1950s and 1960s.

“My dad is a very big fan of Led Zeppelin, and being from Chicago and whatnot, everyone knows a little bit about the blues,” Mclnerney said. “I decided to look a little bit further back, yes, I do like Led Zeppelin, and all the other British blues bands from the time like Cream and original Fleetwood Mac. In order to get a sense of the music you have to go back to who they were covering.”

The trio, all vocal performance majors from Lombard, performed Beyonce’s “Halo,” inspired by Black History Month. The group began performing together at Glenbard East High School when McElroy was a junior and the Motts were sophomores.

“We started out with Nat King Cole, and other African American artists, but then we chose Beyonce because that’s one of my favorite artists and all of ours,” Morgan Mott said.

Martinez-Rios, a theater and secondary education major from Addison, sang “Unsteady” by X Ambassadors. She incorporated Spanish into the song to integrate her Puerto Rican culture into the performance.

“I talk mostly Spanish out of my home,” she said. “So if it’s a talent (show), I think being bilingual is a talent. I thought it’d be a really interesting choice to involve my own culture in a song that’s really popular,” Martinez-Rios said.