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Valley Performances, Competition Heat Up
Kodi Mattox from Riverbank is a vocal finalist in the 2014 Valleys Got Talent. - photo by Contributed

Local musicians will be performing at the Valley’s Got Talent on Friday, Aug. 29 and Saturday, Aug. 30 for the fifth annual event at the Gallo Center for the Arts starting at 7 p.m. in Modesto.

Vocal talent, Kodi Mattox from Riverbank is among those who will be performing on stage at the Gallo this upcoming weekend.

Mattox has been singing since he was a kid “tied down in a car seat and bored stiff.” The genre he performs is Broadway show tunes, classical, or jazz.

“But I sing Beyoncé all the time,” added Mattox.

As a finalist in the Valley’s Got Talent competition, Mattox expressed that he feels very fortunate to be selected.

“It’s always an honor to perform at the Gallo Center,” he said.

Mattox will be attending Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont this fall and will be majoring in musical performance.

“I hope to perform for a living,” stated Mattox. “Whether that entails me being on a Broadway stage or in arenas across the country, that’s for the universe to decide.”

There are over 10 singers in the vocal talent category that Mattox will be competing against and among them are Desireé Juanes and Alida McKeon, who are both from Oakdale.

Juanes has been singing since she could talk, explaining that she initially could not carry a tune but her mom made her tapes of songs from different artists like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Mariah Carey at a very young age.

Singing almost anything with the exception of country, Juanes really enjoys singing musical theatre pieces more than anything.

“Living in Oakdale my entire life you would think I would have had that (country) in my list of genres,” said Juanes. “They (musical theatre pieces) are fun and bubbly but I also like to get down on a Michael Jackson song once in a while.”

As a second year finalist, Juanes expressed that she is more excited this year than she was the first year.

“It feels amazing to be a finalist,” stated Juanes. “I am looking forward to hitting that stage again and giving the audience a performance they’ll enjoy.”

After graduating from Modesto Junior College with an Associate’s Degree in Theatre, Juanes plans to transfer to San Francisco State next fall to continue her education in Business and Theatre in hopes of one day owning her own business where she can give others the opportunity to express themselves.

There are three individuals in the Instrumental Talent Category and Daniel Davis from Oakdale is one of them. Davis is a concert pianist and has been playing the piano for approximately eight years.

“I really enjoy romantic era music like Rachmaninoff and Debussy,” said Davis. “I am super psyched about being a finalist and I can’t wait to compete.”

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Davis moved to Oakdale when he was seven and now at 16 years old has made his way to the Gallo stage to compete in the Valley’s Got Talent.

“I have a goal to serve a full time, two year mission for my church straight out of high school,” expressed Davis. “After my mission, I hope to attend the BYU School of Music and double major in composition and piano performance.”

After BYU, Davis plans to make his way to the Julliard School of Music to earn a masters in piano performance and a doctorate in composition.

Eventually, Davis would like to be a film score composer like Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and James Horner.

“With my piano degrees I will be able to take only the best piano students and also fall back on performance on the side at any time,” said Davis.

The other categories at the Valley’s Got Talent are dance, specialty talents, and band.

The Oakdale High School 11-piece steel drum band will be performing in the band category as a finalist in the 2014 Valley’s Got Talent.

On Friday, the audience will vote on the performances and on Saturday the final performances will be completed and winners will be announced.