The Downers Grove vocal duo Agne & Marty is a top 15 finalist of Suburban Chicago's Got Talent. - Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Meet the Top 15 acts playing Sunday’s Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent show

Fifteen acts are still in the running for Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent, and they’ll take the stage Sunday, July 14, for a chance to reach the finals.

The battle before the judges begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14, at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. A mix of acts — bands, singer-songwriters, a comedian/impressionist and a comic operatic duo — will perform at the free show, hoping for a slot in the Top 10 and an opportunity to win it all.

At stake is a grand prize that includes a development package with website development, a custom video, mentor and photo sessions. There’s the choice of a trip for two to either Nashville to meet with music agencies or Cleveland to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (airfare, hotel and $200 cash are included with either trip). The winner also gets to headline a concert and wins an opening slot for a national act at the Arcada Theatre.

The grand prize is decided by the competition judges, but the general public has a say with the Fan Favorite prize.

Videos of each act following Sunday’s performance will be posted at, where fans can vote. The act with the most votes is guaranteed a spot in the final Top 10 competition round. The act with the most cumulative online votes from both the Top 20 and Top 15 rounds wins the Fan Favorite prize of more than $300 in gift cards and the chance to perform at Club Arcada, the Arcada Theatre’s intimate third-floor cabaret space.

Both the Fan Favorite and grand prize winners will be announced at the end of the finale performance Saturday, July 27, at the Little Italy Fest-West in Addison.

The eighth season of Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent is co-sponsored by the Daily Herald, Onesti Entertainment, Amita Health, Zeigler Auto Group and Salon Lorrene.

Here are the Top 15 and their biggest sources of inspiration:

Agne & Marty – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Agne & Marty

Hometown: Downers Grove

Talent: operatic singers

Biggest source of inspiration: We take great inspiration from classical legends like Maria Callas, as well as from musical comedians such as Victor Borge or Anna Russell.

Miguel Rockstar Garza – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Miguel Rockstar Garza

Hometown: Chicago

Talent: singer-songwriter

Biggest source of inspiration: My mother. She always pushes me to follow my passions. She was a flamenco dancer in her day, so I think I get my performance abilities from her. So thanks mom.

Bob Jay – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Bob Jay

Hometown: Algonquin

Talent: comedian/impressionist

Biggest source of inspiration: My family, friends and God.

The Majors – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

The Majors

Hometown: Bartlett

Talent: band

Biggest source of inspiration: Family, friends, the Beatles, Paramore, Journey, all our peers and musicians before us.

Brian Maras – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Brian Maras

Hometown: Elburn

Talent: singer/guitarist/whistler

Biggest source of inspiration: Family.

Columbus Montgomery – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Columbus Montgomery

Hometown: Bartlett

Talent: R&B singer

Biggest source of inspiration: Motivational speaker Les Brown.

McCrae – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald


Hometown: Sterling

Talent: rock band

Biggest source of inspiration: My mom.

Northcutt – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald


Hometown: Glendale Heights

Talent: singer-songwriter

Biggest source of inspiration: Johnny Cash.

Shannon Nugent – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Shannon Nugent

Hometown: Elmhurst

Talent: singer-songwriter/pianist

Biggest source of inspiration: The people who support me in doing what I love. That includes my friends and family who rarely miss a show, strangers that let me know that they connect with my songs after shows, my co-workers who share my songs on campus and cheer me on and past teachers who believed in me. Also the insightful feedback I get from judges in competitions like these.

Isabel Osorio – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Isabel Osorio

Hometown: Naperville

Talent: pop singer-songwriter

Biggest source of inspiration: My biggest source of inspiration is the possibility that life can always be better, brighter, deeper — that there’s more to feel and experience. I’m inspired by the potential I have to heal and incite joy. The moments that have meant the most to me are those in which the music I make is a catalyst for deepening someone’s life experience — I always joke that I love to make people happy-cry (I do). If an audience feels enough trust to be vulnerable right back to me, then I’ve done my job right. I want people to leave my shows itching to call someone to say “I love you.” I strive every day, in the smallest of ways, to actually see people and let them feel it. I want to be part of what makes life beautiful, expansive and worth it.

Palaya – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald


Hometown: West Chicago

Talent: vocal duo

Biggest source of inspiration: Our biggest sources of inspiration come from each other. We tend to learn from each other and grow as musicians through collaboration and sharing ideas. It is a rare dynamic and we seem to click very naturally. We are both music students at College of DuPage, and we also find inspiration from our incredible professors.

The Recall – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

The Recall

Hometown: Wheaton and Glen Ellyn

Talent: rock band

Biggest source of inspiration: What inspires us most is listening because we all have different tastes in music. But when it comes to writing, they all come together.

Karen Shook – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Karen Shook

Hometown: Woodstock

Talent: singer

Biggest source of inspiration: My three sons.

The Vaughan Building – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

The Vaughan Building

Hometown: La Grange

Talent: blues rock band

Biggest source of inspiration: Family.

Joey Wilbur – Mark Welsh | Daily Herald

Joey Wilbur

Hometown: St. Charles

Talent: singer-songwriter/guitarist

Biggest source of inspiration: Ed Sheeran, Dean Lewis and Shawn Mendes.

• • •

Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent 2019

Where: Arcada Theatre, 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, (630) 962-7000, or

Top 15 show: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 14

Top 10 show and finale: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at Little Italy Fest-West at Centennial Park, Lake Street at Rohlwing Road, Addison

Admission: Free. Register in advance at to be entered into a drawing that will take place at intermission.

• • •

The judges

Suburban Chicago’s Got Talent will feature one surprise judge Sunday and three returning:

Scott May: The keyboardist in the legendary band The Ides of March, a movie composer (the original 1992 version of “Meet The Parents”) and also the artist liaison/senior product specialist for Hammond Organ Company.

Ron Onesti: President and CEO of Onesti Entertainment Corporation, which runs the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles and outdoor concerts and festivals throughout the area.

Barbara Vitello: A Lisagor Award-winning reporter, the Daily Herald’s principal theater critic and legal affairs writer.

About Post Author