CNY Arts Center Spotlights Young Performers

Young performers will be showcased in a new spotlight at CNY Arts Center, 357 State St., in Fulton on February 28 at 7 p.m. in a free performance open to the public.

Taylor Hamer
Taylor Hamer

Because of a generous grant from the Shineman Foundation, CNY Arts Center is spotlighting several exceptionally talented kids who are making their mark in the performing arts already.

These are young people with exceptional gifts, have the dream and the desire to share their gifts enough to get onstage in front of an audience.

They each have high ambitions and simply love to perform with the courage it takes to perform before an audience at so young an age.

Rhiannon Ellison
Rhiannon Ellison

Young performers Taylor Hamer, Rhiannon Ellison, Matthew Oldenburg, Kaylee Foster and David Fite will perform in the kickoff of March as National Arts in Education Month.

Hamer, at 16, is referred to as a triple threat in the performing arts vernacular and in her case, she is even more.

A scholar, dancer, vocalist, actor, choreographer, award-winning artist and photographer, and civic volunteer, she epitomizes the young performer who excels in all the arts.

As a junior at Oswego High School, Hamer has captured recognition and awards in academics, local and national Shakespeare competitions, a member of the Chamber Choir and NYSMMA All State Area Choir.

Matthew Oldenburg
Matthew Oldenburg

As a dancer, she has received regional and national recognition and was asked to join Jr Modern Dance Company in Brooklyn and has taken top honors in NY State Fair and Scholastic Arts Competitions for her art and photography.

Taylor also volunteers at the Salvation Army with the Newman Center ministry and working with Relay for Life and other volunteering where she is needed.

Ellison is 13 years old, and in the eighth grade in the ES-M school district.

She lives with her mother, grandparents, and two cats near Bridgeport, NY.

She began acting and singing in the third grade when she was asked to perform in the High school production of “The Wizard of Oz,” as part of the Lullaby League and singing in the chorus.

Kaylee Foster
Kaylee Foster

She debuted with CNY Arts Center at the third annual Arts Fest Talent Competition and performed at Gifts of the Season Cabaret.

Oldenburg currently has the title role of Willy Wonka in CNY Arts Center’s Kids Onstage next all-youth production, Willy Wonka Jr. and has been seen as Ollie in the premiere of Yes Virginia the Musical, and had the title role in Kids Onstage all-youth production of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

He was also debuted as a young performer in the Gifts of the Season Cabaret.

Foster is an 11-year-old home-schooler with several stage credits including Yes, Virginia…the Musical, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and as the lead in “Bows of Holly” the Christmas production at Believer’s Chapel where she and her family are members.

Kaylee often performs around town at community events and appeared in our first Arts Fest Talent Competition in 2011.

She is currently rehearsing the role of Mrs. Bucket for CNY Arts Center’s Willy Wonka Jr.

Rounding out the evening’s performance will be Fite on guitar.

His bio information was not available at press time.

Closing the evening will be a number from Willy Wonka Jr., currently in rehearsal to be presented March 14-16 and March 21-23 at CNY Arts Center.

Young Performers will be presented 7 p.m. on February 28 at CNY Arts Center, 357 State St., the corner of Park and State streets in Fulton.

The performance is free.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

A reception will follow the performance.

Visit or call 315-592-3373 for more information.