Nyah Kinney may not have ever known her great grandfather, but she’s sure he knows what kind of performance she had Saturday night.

The 11-year-old Kinney, a North Albany Elementary School student, performed a lyrical dance to the song “Soldier” by Fleurie. It made enough of a positive impression on the panel of three judges at the fifth-annual Acts 30 Talent Show at the Rose Theater in Roseburg for Kinney to come away as the winner in the 30-performer field.

It turns out the song was aptly named.

“This was in honor of my great grandfather, who was a corporal in the U.S. Army in World War II,” Kinney said. “I don’t know a lot about him, but I’ve been told that he was a really great man.”

With her performance, Kinney walked away with a great-big check for $1,000. Second place went to Shannon Hume, whose rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing” earned her a $500 check plus an extra $100 after she was voted as the audience favorite.

Aria Mathison, who has performed multiple times in the show, sang Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” and snagged the third-place prize of $250.

All prize money, event organizer Marilyn Jenkins said, comes via sponsorships from local businesses. She added that close to 150 area businesses made contributions to the raffle that took place after the finals finished up and final vote tallies were made.

The show is also associated with Umpqua Valley Youth or Christ, which has helped sponsor the event for four of its five years.

A three-quarters full Rose Theater witnessed acts ranging from Blessing Lusby’s vocal rendition of “I’m Still Standing” to a marimba duet of John Legend’s “All of Me” from MaryCate Moe and Peyton Burnett.

It was Kinney’s dance that won first prize, however, with the final announcement of her victory bringing her family members, who took up a full two rows near the front of Rose Theater, to their feet to celebrate.

So how does she think her family, or even her great grandpa, feels now?

“I think they’re feeling proud,” Kinney said. “Really proud.”

Jon Mitchell is a page designer, photographer and writer for The News-Review. He can be reached at 541-957-4214, or by email at jmitchell@nrtoday.com. Follow him on Twitter @byJonMitchell.

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