Young performers vie for coveted class spots at Little Dreams Foundation music auditions

MIAMI (WSVN) - Some of Miami-Dade County’s most talented and driven young artists competed for a chance to continue their dream of being a professional singer — with a little guidance from some famous performers.

The young hopefuls faced a panel of judges at Seaspice Miami on Saturday, comprised of multiple Grammy Award and Academy Award-winning artist Phil Collins, his wife Orianne and R&B singer Betty Wright.

“When you’re talking 20, 30 kids, you’ve got to get the best of the best of the best,” said Wright.

The auditions are an annual component of the Little Dreams Foundation, founded by Phil and Orianne Collins with the goal of giving children from low-income families an opportunity to pursue their dreams.

“The aim of the foundation is to help children who have talent in the world of music, art, and sports,” said Orianne, “so we’ve been doing that for 19 years.”

Every year, more than 20 participants between the ages of 6-17 vie for a coveted spot in a class of artists, entertainers and athletes.

“I try to be, you know, be as kind as I possibly can, but to be, you know, give that tough love, to see that one who’s gonna make it outta there,” said Wright, “because a lot of people know there’s a very slim chance of making it in a lot of parts in the industry.”

The lucky few who are selected will receive one-year of customized mentorship and training from industry professionals.

“I grew up in an era where you had to — there was no music television. There were no talent shows, really, and so you had to go out and play eye-to-eye with the public, and sink or swim,” said Phil Collins.

Two competitors, 8-year-old Isabella Velasquez and 14-year-old Adiley Tamayo, won the Dreamer Pass at the event. The foundation said a handful of other children who competed on Saturday will be selected after further review to have a second chance.

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