NEPA Sings: Meet the Contestants

Talia Johnson, left, and John Toussaint

Talia Johnson, left, and John Toussaint

“Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow till you find your dream”
 – The Sound of Music

As musical theater performers, Talia Johnson and John Toussaint seem to be taking that advice from The Sound of Music to heart.

Talia, 21, and John, 17, both found and nurtured their love of music on the musical theater stage.

“My middle school drama teacher, Holly Baker, inspired me to get involved with the magic of theater,” John said. “And from that time on, it’s been a part of me that I treasure.”

Talia got her start in music the same way, and has been performing for more than 13 years.

They both have also spoken so graciously about their involvement in NEPA Sings.

“I think it’s one of the greatest opportunities I’ve ever had,” John said. “These volunteers show kids every day that someone is there, that someone is their voice, and is helping guide them to be able to someday be confident using their own voice.”

John, who is competing in NEPA Sings for the second year in a row, is glad to be able to use his gifts to help others.

“I love that I can also use my voice to bring recognition, donations, and support to these children and hopefully bring some musical enjoyment to anyone involved in NEPA Sings.”

Talia’s desire to help children has extended beyond the stage and into her studies.  

“I am truly honored,” she said. “I am soon graduating college to become a clinical psychologist to help children. I want to make this impact on and off the stage. It is so important, especially in this day and age, to give children a voice for they truly are the future.”

Talia, who is from Nazareth and attending college at King’s, is influenced by Whitney Houston (which is what she’s singing at NEPA Sings!), and once performed in front of The Phillies’ Chase Utley at a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game.

John lives in Dallas and attends Dallas High School. As much as he’s an avid musician, he’s also an avid tennis player. His team was crowned district champions last year and he was also voted The Citizen’s Voice Boys Tennis Player of the Year for 2018.

Performances from Talia and John are certainly not to be missed at this year’s NEPA Sings. To hear them and our other finalists lift their voices for children in need, click here to get your tickets!

Tickets for the April 11 show are only $25 and include a one-hour cocktail reception before our singers take the stage. Children 12 and under are admitted for free! Tickets are also available at the CASA of Luzerne County office, the Greater Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce, and the Kirby Center for the Creative Arts at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston.