Here is a partial list of our 2016 performers. Additional acts will be added to this list in the coming days and weeks.
Atlanta-based alt-rock group VON GREY is anything but a stereotypical quartet. Made up of classically trained sisters, Annika 19, Fiona 18, Petra 15, and Kathryn 20 –VON GREY takes a multi-instrumental approach to deliver ethereal, but raw, electronic based alternative anthems driven by unapologetically pop hooks. The band’s signature blend of classical instrumentation and thought provoking lyrics has been critically acclaimed with AXS.com writing, “VON GREY has made a huge impact on the music world with their multi-instrumental approach and hauntingly infectious songwriting.” VON GREY has played nearly 300 shows including Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and SXSW and performed on David Letterman and Conan O’Brien. The band is currently in the studio writing and recording new material for their forthcoming 2016 release.
ASHLYN AND ABRIEL BENTLY: Ashlyn is a 16-year-old worship leader at church and a singer, songwriter, guitar player. Abriel is an 8-year-old cancer kicking princess who loves to dance, do arts and crafts and giggle. They will be joined with Kennedy and Jaxon Keller.
Molly Barcalow is sixteen and has been dancing since she was three years old. On August 4, 2014 she was diagnosed with a very rare form of leukemia. The only chance for survival was a bone marrow transplant. Fortunately, Molly’s brother was a perfect bone marrow match. After four months of intense chemotherapy and full body radiation Molly had her bone marrow transplant on December 8, 2014. She is thankful for all the wonderful doctors and nurses at Children’s National Medical Center and the Pediatric Specialists of Virginia Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. She’s also thankful for her KLR dance family who supported her throughout her entire treatment including months of isolation, constant exhaustion, and eventually her return to dance. Molly is currently dancing at KLR studios for Dance and Music located in Woodbridge, VA. KLR studios offers a full program of dance including a competitive dance team.
TERRAN CRELLY: Terran Crelly is 12 years old and is a member of C&C Dance Company in Bowie, MD. Terran began dancing at the age of 2 and quickly discovered that she enjoyed expressing herself and telling stories through the movement of dance. Terran has been awarded with numerous regional and national titles and is currently the National Junior Miss Dance America for Kids Artistic Revue. She has been a member of the Capitol Movement Pre-Professional Company, and is currently a Junior Apprentice for The Power Pak and Platinum Dance. Terran is incredibly honored and proud to help in raising awareness of childhood cancer through her role as an Ambassador for Dance Hope Cure.
DAVISON DUO: The Davison Duo is a POP/Rock duo based in the Washington, DC area and is comprised of siblings; Madison Gestiehr, 18 years old, and Davis Gestiehr, 15 years old. They began performing together on stage at their Elementary School Talent Show at the ages of 5 and 8. At the ages of 9 & 12 they began writing songs in memory of their dear friend Lexi who passed away from Cancer at the age of 8. They now have 3 original songs on iTunes and other digital sites with all proceeds going to Fight Childhood Cancer. In April of 2013, Davis was called up on stage at a “Green Day” concert at the Patriot Center and sang the song “Longview”. The lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong said after his performance “that was pretty much the most memorable experience of my life” and presented Davis with his guitar. Davis received multiple rave reviews from local publications and was interviewed live on WTOP radio morning show, featured on local and regional TV news shows and was included in “Rolling Stone Magazines” Best Live Acts of 2013 article. In 2015, The Davison Duo competed as Contestants on the America’s Got Talent TV show for the Celebrity Judges and made it through the first rounds of the competition. You may also recognize Davis and Madison from their over 50 performances of the Star Spangled Banner for Washington DC area Professional Sports teams, including The Wizards, The Washington Nationals, The Baltimore Orioles, The Washington Kastle and the CitiBank Tennis Tournament.
JOHNNY KASUN: Johnny is a talented, young musician/guitarist who composes and plays across multiple genres: classical, ragtime, jazz, blues, rock, and fingerstyle guitar. He is a junior at Tuscarora High School, and has performed at several venues and festivals throughout Loudoun County. He is a member of HalfKing Music as an emerging artist, where he writes and records songs under the mentorship of Todd Wright.
ELLIE ROSE KILLINGER: Ellie Rose has always had a love for music. She started violin and piano when she was five, and then later began singing. She has recorded a song with TheTruth365, tried out for “The American Idol Experience” in Hollywood Studios, and performed at three weddings. When she lost her best friend to cancer, she used music as a way to cope with her grief.
TAYLOR KLEIN: Taylor Klein has been helping raise awareness for childhood cancer since she met Taylor Love about 7 years ago. Since then she has met a lot of wonderful children who have inspired her to keep helping this wonderful cause and to study biology at Virginia Tech so that one day she can continue helping children with cancer.
Leah Landwehr is Gabi Shull’s best friend. She was only 10 years old when Gabi was diagnosed in March 2011. A short time after Gabi’s diagnosis, Leah’s young cousin was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Leah has been an advocate for The Truth 365 and Dance. Hope. Cure for 3 years, and hopes to continue the fight against childhood cancer in the years to come. Throughout Gabi’s treatment, Leah stuck by her side and despite the cancer, their friendship endured and even became stronger. Leah is currently 15 years old, is the Sophomore Class President and she participates in the Student 2 Student program (which assists new students their school). Leah is also a competitive dancer, a Varsity cheerleader and a member of the Mixed Show Choir.
On December 18th, 2007, at age thirteen, Melinda Marchiano was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. When treatment ended, Melinda struggled with post-treatment effects; horrible digestive problems morphed into a life-threatening eating disorder that destroyed her physically, spiritually, and emotionally. During this time of recovery, she began writing her story in spiral notebooks. In October, 2010, Melinda’s book, Grace: A Child’s Intimate Journey Through Cancer and Recovery, was published. Her compelling memoir, which received the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award- Bill Fisher Award for Best First Book, gives a one-of-a-kind perspective on childhood cancer. Since publishing her writing, Melinda has traveled the country extensively, visiting children in treatment on what she calls “Hope Tours.” She regularly speaks and writes to help raise awareness and funds for numerous foundations and organizations, and travels to Capitol Hill to speak with representatives about important childhood cancer legislation. She hosted the powerful childhood cancer documentary, The Truth 365, and has spoken about childhood cancer survivorship issues for the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. Melinda is a recent Creative Writing graduate of Pepperdine University and resides in Los Angeles, California, where she is a principal dancer with Cantinas Dance Project, Director of Dance in Flight at Pepperdine University, and an Ambassador for ccThrive. Melinda’s passion for dance helped save her life, and now, she is excited to dance, choreograph, and write–all while continuing to advocate for children with cancer. Her ultimate goal is to remind others of beauty and hope through all she creates.
ABBY MILLER: 19-year-old Abby has been a childhood cancer advocate since the age of 9. Abby’s efforts through her music have raised close to a million dollars, and raised awareness worldwide via social media, performances, fundraisers, and personal contacts. Abby is honored to be a continuing participant at CureFest, and is happy to be be a voice for the cause.
BAILEY MOODY: Bailey was a healthy and happy fourth grader until she began complaining of knee pain in the spring of 2012. A terrifying week of doctors and scans, culminated in a biopsy. What was thought to be a sports injury attributed to overuse, turned into a diagnosis of osteosarcoma in March 2012. This type of cancer is extremely aggressive and thus Bailey’s treatment was as well. She went through ten weeks of chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor and then an additional 20 weeks of chemotherapy. Bailey’s hope was to be able to return to her active, athletic lifestyle, so for surgical resection of her tumor she decided on a form of amputation known as rotationplasty, because it would offer her the best opportunity of doing so. The tumor infected area of her leg was removed and the bottom portion of her leg was rotated 180 degrees and reattached, thus allowing her ankle to become her new knee. Bailey finished treatment in October 2012 and has shown no evidence of disease (NED) for almost four years. It has taken hard work and much dedication to learn to live as an amputee, but she has returned to almost all of the activities she was doing prior to cancer. Bailey just started high school and loves being on her the 9th grade volleyball team, acting, performing on the guitar and piano in worship band, and playing wheelchair basketball for the nationally ranked Blaze Atlanta Hawks. While this has been an unbelievably difficult and unexpected journey, Bailey knows that God has carried her both miraculously and in the tangible hands of her community. She feels passionately about raising awareness and funding for more effective and less toxic treatments…and for fighting for the kids who can no longer fight for themselves.
ORVILLE THE POET: Born in Takoma Park, MD by the way of Jamaica; Orville is known for his charismatic, confident, goal driven mindset, and his passion for poetry. Using his pen to get him through life experiences, Orville uses his passion for the arts to raise awareness, speak vivid truths, and uplift his community.
RAVEL DANCE COMPANY: The Ravel Dance Company is a non-profit organization founded by its Artistic Director, Janet Hall. The Company is comprised of accelerated dance students whose training is rooted in classical ballet but who are equally accomplished in modern and contemporary dance.
LOGAN SPECKHARD: Logan Speckhard is a 14-year-old singer and published songwriter with HalfKing publishing out of Leesburg, VA, where she works with acclaimed musician Todd Wright. She is a childhood cancer awareness advocate who manages a campaign called Athletes Crush Cancer for The Truth 365 and was selected to attend Connect4Cancer’s Student Advocacy Program. Logan advocates for her friends Gavin Rupp, Gabriella Miller, and Mathias Giordano who all sadly lost their lives to cancer.
RIVERS SCHWENN: Rivers is 14 and older sister to Parker Monhollon who has DIPG. Parker has been fighting this disease since Jan of 2016. Rivers is part of Dancers Against Cancer and plans to continue Dancing to spread awareness about DIPG and childhood cancer. Rivers has been dancing since the age of 4 and is currently attending Ignition Dance Academy. Plus, she is a member of the Defy Dance Project in Kansas City. She has been dancing competitively around the United States for 8 years.
SYDNEY SHERWOOD: Sydney Sherwood, 13 years old, began playing guitar and
singing at the age of 10. Music became Sydney’s outlet and a way to express her emotions as she was away from her parents and brother while her brother was undergoing treatment and surgeries. Sydney’s love of music continues to grow each day as her music brings joy and comfort to others, as well as herself.
ALLY SHULL: Ally Shull is Gabi Shull’s older sister. She was 11 years old when Gabi was diagnosed. Ally has been a key advocate for The Truth 365 and Dance. Hope. Cure.in support of Gabi and all other children fighting cancer. Ally describes this calling as a passion to do her part to make a positive change in the lives of children with cancer. The critically important campaigns that Ally participates in have been seen by over a million people internationally and are shining the spotlight on the severe lack of funding for childhood cancer research. Ally has been by her sister’s side throughout her devastating illness, and now, enjoying a more active and happier role through multiple fundraisers and speaking engagements for this important cause. Ally is now 16 years old and is an accomplished, competitive dancer, a Varsity cheerleader, a member of the National Honor Society and Mixed Show Choir.
Gabi Shull was only 9 years old when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her right distal femur. She underwent a year of chemotherapy, multiple surgeries and transfusions. In order to save Gabi’s life, surgery was required to remove the cancer. After much research and discussion, Gabi chose a radical surgery called rotationplasty. After a year of intense physical therapy and another year of practice on her prosthetic, Gabi took her first independent steps! She is currently 15 years old and has reached her 5 year “NED” (no evidence of disease) milestone! Over the last few years, Gabi has had the opportunity to be involved in many speaking engagements, fundraisers and charitable organizations. She is the driving force for the Talent On Parade National Dance Competition’s annual donations of $10,000 to The Truth 365 and has herself raised over $5000 for CureSearch. Most recently, Gabi has had global recognition for her success in dance and her inspirational story. She has been featured in countless prominent online articles and interviews. She was also the keynote speaker at a Houston event called Dance. Hope. Cure…An Evening with Gabi Shull, which raised $25,000 for The Truth 365. Gabi is a strong advocate in the fight against childhood cancer and is proud to be the National Spokesperson for The Truth 365 and Dance. Hope. Cure. Gabi is the Vice-President of her high school sophomore class, a varsity cheerleader, a member of the Girls’ Show Choir, a straight “A” student and a competitive dancer. Her most recent accomplishment is dancing “en pointe”.
MEG SMITH: Meg Smith is a 17-year-old singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. In addition to playing guitar, piano, & ukulele, Meg has also written over 80 songs and performed countless shows. Some of her most memorable performances were at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas and the LA County Fair. Meg can’t wait to perform today & raise awareness for such an amazing cause!
MACY STAHL: Macy Stahl is a high school freshman in the Washington, DC area. She is a company dancer at J. Dance Kollective and one of the leaders of the Dancers vs. Cancer campaign. She is dancing for her long-time friend, Amelia Schmidt, and all children battling the beast that is childhood cancer.
Award winning Pop/Rock Singer-Songwriter, Taylor Tote, is from Monmouth County NJ. She was selected to showcase at the 2016 Summer NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) in Nashville in June 2016.She was one of five women selected last year by the WiMN (Women’s International Music Network) to perform at the SHE ROCKs 2015 Summer NAMM Showcase also in Nashville. She was nominated for 2015 Asbury Music Award (AMA) for “Top Female Vocalist”, and “Top Young Band”. In May 2013, Taylor won first place in the New Jersey Talent Search performing her original song “Jane”. She has performed National Anthem at Madison Square Garden in NYC.
THE VOCAL ARTS INSTITUTE:
Located in Ashburn, VA and works with students throughout the greater Baltimore/Washington area, with programs suited to all levels of singers, including group classes, private lessons and master classes. The Vocal Arts Institute was founded by Jennifer Randall, accomplished opera singer performer and actress to help singers in any style or genre increase their skills and improve their vocal technique. We promote healthy singing, encourage artistic expression, and believe in using every performance as an opportunity for personal and artistic growth. Guest Lecturers have included Michael Rainbow instructor at The Washington National Opera young artist program, Cindy Oxberry-world renowned Stage Director and many more. Jennifer Randall is a highly esteemed expert at teaching all vocal styles including opera, classical, sacred, pop and contemporary, musical theatre (belt, mixed-belt, classical). She holds a Master’s Degree in Music; Vocal Performance.
ALLISON WIJNTJES: Allison Wijntjes is a member of C&C Dance Company in Bowie, MD, where she has been dancing since age 2. She has received regional and national dance titles, awards and scholarships. She is a Captain of her high school dance company, and is a member of the National Honor Society, National Honor Society of Dance Arts, Science National Honor Society, STEM Advisory Board and Secretary of the Key Club. As a member of High School All-County Dance, Allison takes great pride in achieving academic excellence while being an accomplished dancer.
TODD WRIGHT: Todd Wright is a singer/songwriter/producer whose 25-year career has included fronting his own pop-rock bands, touring with national acts and writing songs for national and international recording artists. Todd’s daughter Ryan is a frequent guest on his recordings and live shows and has been performing alongside her father since the age of 10.
RYAN WRIGHT: At only 13 years old, Ryan Wright has already established a budding music career that artists twice her age would envy. At age 10, Ryan debuted as a performer alongside her father, singer/songwriter Todd Wright, at The Hamilton as part of the “Like My Father Did” showcase of DC-based father/child musicians. Ryan has contributed her writing talents and voice to several songs raising money and awareness for childhood cancer, including “Snow” and “1000 Years.” Ryan is a frequent guest on her dad’s recordings and live shows, and she is sure to be headlining her own shows before she’s legally allowed to drive a car.
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