14-year-old Wilmington native Ben Walker voted winner of in the spotlight 2011

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The Grand’s In The Spotlight competition wrapped up its third season last Sunday on the mainstage, where Wilmington native Ben Walker was voted the Grand Prize Winner.

Walker was awarded a prize package worth over $1300, including $200 in cash, and a future performance on the baby grand theatre stage during The Grand’s 2011-2012 season. Walker, who attends Cab Calloway School of the Arts, earned a high score from judges with his innovative rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

“I am so honored to have won this competition and to have performed alongside such incredibly talented people,” Walker said.

“Singing ‘Hallelujah’ on the Grand Opera House stage has got to be one of the most thrilling experiences of my life! Thank you to everyone!”

The 14-year-old singer is a member of Delaware Children’s Theatre, Imagination Players and Delaware All-State Theater, and has performed at Walnut Street Theatre, OperaDelaware, DuPont Theatre, the Kimmel Center, and with the Broadway Dreams Foundation in New York City.

Runners-up include second-place winner Caitlin Dempsey, 17, who won a prize package worth over $500, and third-place winner Chad Michael Jervis, 16, who won over $300 in prizes, including a headshot photography package.

Jervis also attends Cab Calloway School of the Arts, and is a member of Delaware All-State Theater and the JazzChords of Calloway.

Now completing its third season, the In The Spotlight program brings a diverse group of local performers to the The Grand’s stages.

Past winners of this unique talent competition include comedian M Dickson, who recently appeared opposite John Leguizamo in the feature film Fugly, and Scott F. Mason, a Dame Edna impersonator and Newark, DE native.