The theme was British Invasion at the 11th annual DC-Capital Stars, which took place on Tuesday, April 10 at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the Eisenhower Theater. The annual fundraiser, celebrating 20 years of DCCAP’s mission to encourage and enable every DC public school student to enroll in and graduate from college, raised nearly $1 million.
The DC-CAPITAL Stars showcased the outstanding artistic abilities of DC public and public charter high school students with a citywide talent search that began with over 250 applicants in the fall 2018. In December, the top auditions were posted on DC-CAP’s website for the public to view and choose their favorites in vocal, instrumental or dance categories. With over 4,500 online tallies and input from a local panel of independent professional vocalists, dancers, musicians, and educators from the metropolitan area, the top 10 finalists were selected and performed in the final event.
Celebrity judges headlines the idol-style competition, where winners were determined 50% by judges input and 50% based on audience vote. Among the judges were Denyce Graves, Mezzo Soprano Singer; Raheem DeVaughn, R&B Singer and Songwriter; Kenny Lattimore, R&B Singer; and Cholé Arnold, Emmy nominated Choreographer.
All finalists received $2,000 college scholarships… unless they placed and won more.
Nikolai A. Goussev, a sophomore at Duke Ellington for the School of the Performing Arts, won 3rd place and a $4,000 college scholarship. 2nd place went to Amoye Olutosin, a senior at Duke Ellington for the School of the Performing Arts, who won a $6,000 college scholarship. And Jillian Upshaw, a freshman attending Woodrow Wilson Senior High School, won the top prize, a $10,000 college scholarship grand prize.
Over the last 20 years, DC-CAP has helped these and some 31,000 other DC public and public charter high school students enroll in college, and as of this event, the organization is celebrating the success of the more than 10,000 graduates.