Linden High School teen wins first place in Talent Hunt Competition

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

LINDEN, NJ — Abigail Armstead, a student at Linden High School, secured first place in the contemporary vocal category of the annual Talent Hunt Competition, sponsored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, on Saturday, April 27.

This renowned event provides a platform for exceptionally gifted high school students to showcase their talents in the performing and visual arts.

Armstead’s victory highlights the depth of talent cultivated within Linden High School’s Fine and Performing Arts Department, with the supervision of Matthew G. Lorenzetti, supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts. She extends her gratitude to her mentors: Howard Whitmore, her musical theater teacher; Barbara Brady, her dance company instructor; and Ms. Gwin, her vocal coach. Their unwavering dedication and coaching proved invaluable in her preparation for the competition.

Armstead’s mother, Danie Orelien-Armstead, acknowledges the invaluable guidance provided by her teachers and announces that her daughter will be attending the NJPAC’s Arts Education program this summer, where she will further hone her skills in musical theater.
As a member of Linden High School’s Dance Company and Musical Theatre Touring Troupe, Armstead has showcased her versatility and talent in various productions, including her recent portrayal of Donna Sheridan in “Mamma Mia!” Her artistic journey began with roles in “Once on This Island” and “Legally Blonde,” expanding beyond school productions to include performances in “In The Heights” and “Once on This Island” at CDC Theater in Cranford, as well as “High School Musical,” with Mystic Vision Players in Linden.

“When I heard her sing at an outdoor event, I knew she was gifted, so I encouraged her to enter the Talent Hunt Competition,” said Keith Pressey from Eta Pi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. This renowned competition has a rich history of launching young talents onto prestigious national stages, including the Ted Mack Original Amateur Hour, the Apollo Theater and Radio City Music Hall, among others.

Established in 1945, the fraternity’s Talent Hunt is not just a competition but also a national community service project, empowering young performers through exposure, encouragement and financial assistance in the performing arts. This commitment embodies the fraternity’s dedication to fostering excellence in the next generation of artists.

Photos Courtesy of Danie Orelien