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Ashley Patrick performs “Astonishing” during the Stars of Tomorrow singing competition. Photo: Courtesy

By Kristina Pritchett

Ashley Patrick, a senior at Dana Hills High School, recently placed second in the Musical Theater category in the Stars of Tomorrow competition for her rendition of “Astonishing” from Little Women.

“I knew this was all or nothing,” Patrick said, adding that she felt there was nothing else she could’ve done. “I felt like I left everything on the stage.”

Stars of Tomorrow, held by the South Coast Singers, was started 10 years ago to provide an opportunity for Orange County high school vocalists to compete for scholarship money to assist them in pursuing their careers.

After an initial audition, 18 are selected to go on in the competition. More than $5,000 in prize money is awarded in two categories: classical and musical theater.

Patrick has now competed three times; she previously placed third in the Musical Theater category. She said this year was different, however, because she went in with a different game plan.

“I didn’t go in with the mindset to win, I went in with the mindset to just perform,” Patrick said.

Although Patrick said she was nervous during her initial audition because it was the first time performing the piece, she chose it for personal reasons.

“(The song) is about going out on your own and figuring out who you are,” she said. “I’m getting ready to go out to college, and I could just personally relate to it.”

Patrick said she was shocked when she heard her name called.

“The competition was really good. I was totally not expecting second place at all,” Patrick said. “I was happy the judges really enjoyed it. It was very rewarding.”

When asked if she noticed anything different competing for the third time, she said she really enjoyed the support of the fellow students against whom she was competing.

“It was really refreshing,” Patrick said. “I really loved it, and it was nice to have the support of people my own age.”

Patrick said she hopes to study musical theater in college in the Los Angeles area.

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