'Kean Idol' Gets New Name, Makeover for 2012

Local talent competition now titled Kean Quest.

The popular local talent competition that boasts singing sensation Jackie Evancho and the face of the Eat'n Park restaurant chain Sarah Marince as former contestants is undergoing a makeover for its ninth season.

Among the changes to the Kean Idol Talent Contest is a new name - Kean Quest Talent Search, a new logo and a greater focus on the vocal competition. In past years, the contest also had a dance competition.

 will present Kean Quest Talent Search beginning Sunday at the , 5847 Meridian Road in Richland Township. The finale will be March 30.

Amateur singers of all ages are eligible to perform in the local version of the popular TV hits, American Idol and The Voice.

The contest will again offer an adult category specifically for vocalists age 19 and older.  

Kean Quest Talent Search is an opportunity for individuals of all ages to showcase their vocal talent, gain stage experience and help a local charity.

The competition has seen contestants go on to perform at public events in the Pittsburgh area, national competitions and to study abroad. 

Jackie Evancho, an America’s Got Talent finalist, competed for Kean Idol in 2008 and 2009, said Debbie Panei, development director for St. Barnabas Charities.

For more information or to register, call 724-443-0800, ext. 5310, or visit www.keantheatre.com.   

There is a $25 registration fee to enter; contestants will be asked to sell seven tickets to the performance. Contestants may join the competition as space is available.

The schedule for the 2012 Kean Quest Talent Search is:


Vocal Round 1, 1 p.m.

Feb. 26

Vocal Round 2, 1 p.m.

Vocal Round 3, 5 p.m.

March 4

Vocal Round 4, 1 p.m.

Adult Vocal, 5 p.m.

March 11

Vocal Round 5, 1 p.m.

Vocal Round 6, 5 p.m.

March 18

Vocal Semi-Final 1, 1 p.m.

Vocal Semi-Final 2, 5 p.m.

March 30

Vocal Finals, 7 p.m.

Tickets to the Kean Quest Talent Search are $10, and proceeds will benefit St. Barnabas Free Care Fund, which in 2010 provided more than $4.7 million to needy patients at , Valencia Woods at St. Barnabas and who otherwise would not be able to afford their care.  


Submitted by Shelli Sommariva and Megan Hoffman on behalf of the Kean Theatre, which is part of St. Barnabas Health System. Have news you'd like to share with Pine-Richland Patch readers? Email information and photos to Cindy Cusic Micco at cindy.micco@patch.com 


Terry Baker January 27, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Cindy, do you know if the prestigious "Jackie Evancho Award" will be retained under all of the changes in the Kean Idol format? I hope so because, in my opinion at least, it serves as an inspiration to more young performers to follow Jackie's good example of hard work and in following their dreams as Jackie has done to great success. Also to never, ever give up. Just look at all of the great things that have come to Jackie as a result of her dedication to her art and a work ethic second to none. She is a role model that everyone can look to, young and old(er), with admiration. Thank you, Cindy, for all that you do to support Jackie here in the PRP. It's much appreciated. Terry Baker Minneapolis, MN
Terry Baker January 27, 2012 at 05:14 PM
OK, I just found out that the Second Annual "Jackie Evancho Award" will be presented on March 30, 2012 to the contestant who "exemplifies courage and motivation and pushes through to follow their dreams." The awardee must have been a contest participant for two or more years. Here's a link with more info. Cheers. http://www.keantheatre.com/ea_idol_06.shtml
Cindy Cusic Micco January 27, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Thanks, Terry!


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