NEPA Sings: Meet the Contestants

Marina Rinkunas, left, and Cody Wiley

Marina Rinkunas, left, and Cody Wiley

It takes passion and determination to turn something you love to do into a career. Especially when it comes to music.

While Cody Wiley and Marina Rinkunas are at different points in their journey, they both have that same passion and determination.

Marina, 16, is making plans for her future in music. An eight year student at Northeastern Music Academy, and a three year musical theater performer, Marina has plans to pursue this love for the rest of her life.

“(Winning) would be a great achievement,” she said. “I feel like it could really kick off my career in music and theater since that is what I want to major in at college.”

And while winning is the goal, Marina is happy to be involved with NEPA Sings and CASA of Luzerne County and the mission to give a voice to children who need one.

“I think it is extremely important for today’s youth to be heard,” she said.

For Cody, 29, life revolves around music and family. Music has always been important, but more than 10 years ago, it transformed from a hobby to a passion. Thanks to determination and a second-hand guitar, Cody writes his own music and lyrics and plays all over Northeast PA.

He hopes that his involvement in NEPA Sings will allow the children that CASA serves to be able to follow their own dreams as well.

“It’s amazing to be part of this organization,” he said. “I hope that I can be a positive influence.”

Marina lives in Clarks Summit and attends Scranton Prep. According to her dad, Marina has been singing since she was able to talk.

Cody lives in Cressona with his fiancé and their two children, a five-year-old boy and a seven-year-old girl. Cody is a self-taught musician and hopes to use his music to give his family “everything they deserve.”

To hear Cody and Marina on April 11, you can get your tickets online here, or by visiting the CASA office, the Greater Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce, or the Kirby Center for the Performing Arts at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston with cash or check.

For $25 your ticket gets you a one-hour cocktail reception with food and wine, and beer from SBC, along with performances from Cody, Marina, and nine other amazing performers. You’ll also have the opportunity to win a $250 gift card to Ruth’s Chris. Children 12 and under are FREE!