NEPA Sings: Meet the contestants

Haley Lyle, left, and Jovon Barnes.

Haley Lyle, left, and Jovon Barnes.

If you ask both 20-year-old Haley Lyle and 21-year-old Jovon Barnes, one of the best parts about competing in NEPA Sings is the opportunity to give a voice to children who don’t have one.

Which is such a humble and inspiring outlook for two young performers.

“Music is such a great outlet for creative expression, especially in regards to giving a voice to the voiceless and raising awareness,” Jovon said. “Being able to contribute to this beautiful cause is the most gratifying part of this event.”

“Even the folks who are not singing and are attending the evening are making a difference in these children’s lives,” Haley said. “One word I would definitely use to describe this amazing opportunity would be rewarding.”

Haley and Jovon have each approached music very differently.

Haley’s first time performing in public was the very day she auditioned for NEPA Sings.

Jovon got his start in community theatre a decade ago and can’t imagine himself doing anything else.

Another thing they have in common is the feeling of being honored to make it to the finals.

“I feel as though I’ve already won!,” Haley said.

 “Winning would be such an incredible honor,” Jovon said. “But truthfully, just knowing that I’m blessed enough to be among the 12 finalists and share the stage with some of the greatest talent this area has to offer means the world to me.”

Haley, who is from Mountain Top, studies nursing at Northampton Community College. She credits her love of music to her mother, who sang to her every day as a child. Though Haley says not every performance was good.

Jovon, from Jefferson Township, works as a live sound engineer and transcriptionist. He began producing music at the age of 14 and is currently working on his own original music, as well as music from a startup company in New York City.

To hear Jovon and Haley’s talent in person, click here to get your tickets for NEPA Sings on April 11 at 5:30 p.m. at the Kirby Center for the Creative Arts at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston. They are only $25 and include a one-hour cocktail reception before the performance. Children 12 and under are admitted at no charge. Tickets can also be purchased with cash or check at the CASA office, the Greater Wilkes Barre Chamber of Commerce, and at the Kirby Center at SEM.