Two girls from Modesto make Young Idol finalists

The votes are in and 10 young people have been selected as finalists in the Modesto Symphony Orchestra's Young Idol competition.

The winner of the talent contest will perform at the symphony's Holiday Pops concert at the Gallo Center for the Arts, in addition to winning a number of prizes.

Entering the contest Saturday were more than 120 children and teens, ages 3 through 17. They sang in the center court of Vintage Faire Mall before hundreds of shoppers and three celebrity judges.

Judges selected 25 singers to return for a performance Sunday. That's when 10 finalists were chosen. Organizers now are arranging for each finalist to record a demo.

The recordings, along with video clips and short bios of performers, will be posted Thursday on modbee.com. You also can read about the finalists in Thursday's Buzzz section.

Readers then vote for their favorites online, with one hopeful being eliminated each week, just as it's done on "American Idol."

The finalists are: Justin Alvaji of Turlock, 17; Kaitlyn Endave of Modesto, 14; Ashley Gomez of Denair, 13; Freddy Lemmo of Salida, 13; Isaak Olson of Turlock, 17; Colton Pometta of Newman, 16; Emily Shrader of Modesto, 15; Tessa Silva of Sonora, 15; Natalie Tout-Macnica of Turlock, 10; and Athena Williford of Stockton, 14.

In addition to singing at the symphony's holiday performances at the Gallo center in December, the winner will receive limo service on the night of the concert, dinner for four at Bacchus restaurant, complimentary concert tickets for family members, a spa package, a $100 gift card to Vintage Faire Mall and the chance to record a CD for free at Celestial Sounds studio in Modesto.

Bee staff writer Kerry McCray can be reached at kmccray@modbee.com or 578-2358.