By Mark Ambrogi
Morgan Koontz already had her fair share of success in the CarmelFest has Talent singing competition.
Koontz won the ages 10-12 competition in 2012, finished second in 2013 before taking a break last year.
On July 4, Koontz, who turns 14 on July 27, captured the talent show’s ages 13-17 contest.
Five semifinalists in each division sang a song on July 3 and then the contest was trimmed down to three for July 4 finals.
Despite her previous experience on the CarmelFest gazebo stage, Koontz said she was definitely nervous.
“I get really nervous before I perform but once I get on stage it goes away,” said Koontz, who adds practice and preparation helps.
Koontz, who will be a Carmel High School freshman in August, has been in theater productions for the past three or four years.
“I’m a little nervous but I’m also excited to start performing in high school because I think it will be a lot of fun,” Koontz said.
Koontz’s mother, Angela Gallagher, said Koontz has been singing since she could talk.
Anjali Rooney was victorious in the ages 10-16 contest. Rooney, who turns 11 on July 16, moved to Carmel with her family from New York a year ago.
“I was really excited. I think the main thing is to have fun and be yourself,” said Rooney, who will be a sixth grader at Clay Middle School. “I’m really thankful for my singing teachers, Ann Conrad (Carmel) and Justin Reamy (New York).”
Rooney has been singing, acting and dancing since she was 6 years.
“I love all them equally,” said Rooney, who added she would love to return to compete in CarmelFest. “They are all so much fun.
Jillian Hogan, Carmel, was second and Ellie Buening, Indianapolis, third in the 12-and-under group. In the 13-17 division, Sydney Greene, who will be a CHS freshman, placed second and Grace Eckelbarger, Noblesville, finished third.
Kimberly Lowe, Indianapolis, won the 18-and-over singing competition. Jayson Hofmeister, Sweetser, was second and Gary Gillespie, Avon, third.
The contest paid $500 for first place, $250 for second and $100 for third in each division.