2018 songfest judges

We are excited to announce the incredible people we have selected who will decide which acts deserve to take home the biggest prizes—1st, 2nd, and 3rd place—for their philanthropies!

Introducing… the judges of Songfest 2018.

 
 
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Donna Kent

In 1978, while serving as the Chi Omega Chapter President, Donna Kent had the vision for an evening of entertainment designed to not only promote camaraderie among A&M's fraternities and sororities, but to also serve as Chi Omega's annual philanthropy event in the Bryan-College Station community. The Chi Omega chapter members embraced Donna's ideas and she served as chairman for the first Songfest presented on November 11, 1978 at the Bryan Civic Auditorium.

Today, Donna is an active Chi Omega alumna and currently serves as the Chi Omega Recruitment Information Chairman for eastern Fort Bend County.  She is a Past President of both the Fort Bend Alumnae Panhellenicand the Fort Bend Chi Omega Alumnae and is a former member of the Fort Bend County Aggie Moms Club.  

Donna and her husband, Alan (Class of '76), live in Sugar Land and own Kent & Kent Residential Design.  Their Aggie family includes their Chi Omega daughter, Holly Kent Reedy, and her husband, Clay Reedy, of College Station.


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MIchelle leagans

is a magna cum laude graduate of Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Dance Performance. While attending OCU, Michelle was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company and the OCU Pep Dancers. She was also the very first student choreographer for the Pep Dancers and did their basketball and spring show choreography for 3 years. Michelle has performed as both an NBA and NFL Cheerleader. Her teams include the NBA Charlotte Hornets and the NFL Houston Texans. She was a captain and choreographer with the Houston Texans as well as a guest choreographer and guest judge for the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs. Michelle performed with the Houston Texans Cheerleaders at the Hall of Fame Game and the Bud Bowl in Calgary, Canada as well as providing choreography for both events. She has also performed with Busch Gardens, Six Flags, and as an ensemble dancer with the TEXAS show in Palo Duro Canyon. Michelle is now a free lance choreographer in tap, jazz, lyrical, novelty, and kick. She has won Industry awards in jazz and tap with Boni's En Toure in the Woodlands, Texas and Expressenz in Carmel, Indiana for the past 3 years. Michelle is also a guest choreographer for Crowd Pleasers Dance and Drill Teams and travels to officer camps with them every summer. She has won numerous Choreography and Entertainment Awards with Crowd Pleasers and Champions Dance as she choreographs for over 40 high schools throughout Texas. This past year alone she has received over 30 choreography awards in atleast 4 different dance styles. Michelle has been a competition judge for companies such as Dance Showcase USA, KAR, and Rainbow Dance Competitions on the regional and national level. She has taken dancers and had choreography perform in Austria with the Young Tanszommer tour. Dancers she has trained are performing all the world from Broadway to theme parks and numerous cruise lines. Michelle is looking forward to continuing her work in the Texas Dance Community by being a part of TDEA (Texas Dance Educator's Association). She was a master class instructor for the 2017 TDEA Convention and will be the 2018 TDEA All State Choreographer.


Molly Jones

Molly is a recent graduate of Texas A&M, and now works full-time in Technology Consulting. During her time in college, Molly had the unique privilege of chairing Songfest 2017, as well as holding several other leadership positions within Chi Omega. Her leadership over an event that involves performing came naturally, since spent her childhood afternoons either in dance class or choreographing dances or “stunts” to perform with sisters and friends. She is humbled to be included as a judge this year, and can’t wait to see what Songfest 2018 has in store. To all the audience members who haven’t been before, she highly recommends walking around the main foyer during intermission to learn more about all of the awesome philanthropies benefiting from Songfest, and browsing through our silent auction and raffle items. She’d like to give special shout-outs to the performing acts and the 2018 Songfest team for a semester of hard work well spent.

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Northern National - Band Member Judges

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Michael Rossi

is a father of two, husband, and the lead singer of Northern National. He started pursuing music at the age of 13 and was offered his first record deal with Sony at 17. Outside of music, he's a UX Designer who's worked on apps for various fortune 500 companies. 

Dylan Greene

was given his first guitar at the age of 11 and never put it down. He's a multi-instrumentalist and background vocalist for Northern National. When's not on stage rocking out, he's a licensed securities broker at a fortune 100 broker dealer. 

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Anthony Comas

Having started his journey in music with the classical guitar, Anthony Comas quickly added drums to his musical arsenal when he was 10. He's been playing in bands as a drummer ever since and joined Northern National in 2016 quickly becoming a crowd favorite on stage. Not only is Anthony a talented musician, he is also widely known as the funniest member of the band.

Michael Kanne

Kanne, also known as "Keys" Kanne, is a songwriter, keyboardist, and day-to-day manager for Northern National. He attended Texas A&M from 2009-20011 but left to pursue music in the spring of that year. Not only has he written songs that have been heard on MTV, TBS, & more, he also has a passion for bowling and has bowled 4 perfect games.

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Susu fischer

was born and raised in the small town of Cuero in the heart of South Texas. She pledged Chi Omega while attending Southwest Texas State University where she graduated in 1972 with a degree in Elementary Education. She met and married her husband of more than 40 years, Mark Fischer ’72 and the two live in Edmond, Oklahoma and travel to Aggieland as often as possible.

SuSu Fischer has a big heart for her family, for Chi Omegas and for Texas A&M.

She and her husband Mark adopted their two children Christy, a Xi Kappa Chi Omega class of 2004 and their son Scott, from the Edna Gladney Home in Ft. Worth. The two continue to advocate for adoption and are incredibly thankful for the courage and sacrifice of their childrens’ birth mothers.

An active Chi Omega alumni, SuSu helped charter the Edmond, Oklahoma Chi Omega alumni chapter. She has served as president as well as Area Recruitment Information Chairman of the organization, giving girls the best chance possible during recruitment.

SuSu and Mark are active in the Association of Former Students, where Mark serves as Chair Elect along with roles on the Engineering Advisory Council, and the Twelfth Man Foundation.SuSu and Mark are so honored to be featured as one of three couplesin the historic Texas A&M Lead by Example Comprehensive Campaign.

She and Mark treasure their time with their three grandchildren – Grant Jr., Rhett and Elle who give them their favorite titles of “Mama SuSu” and “Papa”.

She is a two-time breast cancer survivor!! Beating cancer renewed her passion for LIFE. Now in remission for more than 7 years and she strives to live life by the Golden Rule and to the fullest everyday.  

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sharon toups

is a Dance Teacher of 30 years and Director/Founder of the Lil’ and Elite Wranglers youth Country & Western dance team for 19 years.  Her teams have performed at many incredible places such as the Grand Ole Opry, for Senator Ted Cruz and associates at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball, and for President Trump and his family in the 58th Inaugural Parade representing the State of Texas.  She’s a former Texas A&M Aggie Wrangler, class of ’89, and she is the Technical Safety Consultant for the current Aggie Wrangler team in College Station, Texas. 


Diane cahill bedford (mfa, bfa)

serves as Clinical Assistant Professor in the Dance Science Program at Texas A&M University. She holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography (2010) and a B.F.A. in Dance and English Literature, Magna Cum Laude (2003) from Florida State University. Her choreography has been accepted for performance in New York, Vermont, Florida, and Texas. Diane has presented on various aspects of dance pedagogy at conferences for The International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS), National Dance Society, TAHPERD, and San Jacinto College. Diane previously taught dance and directed Outreach Programming for Fort Wayne Ballet and Charleston Ballet Theatre. Recently, she published a preliminary edition of a dance appreciation textbook, Dance in Many Forms.

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Lacey myers

serves as the Regional Director for Chi Omega at the Executive Headquarters in Memphis, TN. Lacey graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2012, where she majored in Communication. Upon graduation, she served as a National Leadership Consultant for Chi Omega for two years, until 2014 when she moved to Memphis to serve in her current role as the Southwest Central Regional Director. Lacey was trained from a young age in musical theater and performance, and performed all four years of college with the School of Music at Southern Miss.


Marissa Martinez

was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University - class of 2013 and is currently working on her MDiv at Southern Seminary. After college Marissa lived in Dallas for a short stent, before eventually making her way back to Bryan/College Station to help plant Declaration Church. She serves as the College Director and Executive Administrator at Declaration and is also the host of a new podcast, The Glory Days with Marissa Martinez - an interview style podcast highlighting the lives and stories of faithful women following Jesus in different seasons of life. Marissa is a Songfest enthusiast who loves traveling, podcasting and being with her people. 

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Rachel Thweatt

grew up in a military family, constantly moving across the country. As a Junior in high school, she and her family moved from South Carolina to San Antonio which lead Rachel to attend Texas A&M University. During her freshman year, Rachel began volunteering for Breakaway Ministries eventually serving as a team leader. She was also a part of the leadership team for Impact, and is a proud alumni of the Xi Kappa chapter of Chi Omega. After graduation, Rachel joined the full time staff at Breakaway to continue carrying out here passion for connecting others to the work God is doing in College Station. She serves as the associate director of strategic partnerships and helps oversee Tuesday night operations. When she is not working, Rachel loves traveling and working out with her husband, Jack.


JD Rodgers

was born and raised in Longview, Texas and studied communications at Stephen F. Austin State University. In his free time he enjoys playing sand volleyball with the bros, singing karaoke with his girlfriend and co-judge, Chidima, and sharing stories with his closest friends over a nice cup of coffee. After college, he traveled the country being an event director for an organization called "Afterdark" and was then, by the grace of the good Lord, led to the great town of College Station, Texas where he is currently serving as the creative director for Breakaway Ministries here at Texas A&M University.

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Chidima Ubah

From a young age, Chidima has been using her gift of music to touch those around her. A Spring, Texas native, her first solo performance was at the age of 9, and it was then she realized that God had given her a voice, and she began pursing a music career. Chidima sang in church throughout her teenage years, and while she loved leading worship, she only saw it as something to do on the side. However, that changed her freshman year of college when she attended a Passion conference. It was there she felt a shifting in her heart, as her dreams began to align with God's heart for her and His plan for her gifting. She knew He was calling her to a life of worship through song. Now at age 23, Chidima hasn't stopped pursuing her passion for worship. She graduated from Texas A&M in December 2017 and moved to Atlanta, GA where she currently resides and is on the worship team at a local church.  


Candle Joseph

is an emerging artist from Houston, Texas. Of Nigerian descent, he brings a variety of sounds and influences into his music. His style ranges from reflective raps, to soul music, to Afrobeat vibes. His philosophy is to embrace all the parts of your life that make you who you are. This is evident in his music, as his sound morphs between tracks, sonically showing you that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Check out his debut album, Equinox, out on all platforms.

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Vicki Thomas

Vicki is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where she grew up and graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. While at USM, she was a member of the Epsilon Delta Chapter of Chi Omega. Through Chi Omega, she met lifelong friends and participated in Song Fest. She recognizes the importance of this philanthropic work and is happy to serve as a judge this year. 

Currently, she is happily married with three children living in Nacogdoches, Texas, where she is an Assistant Professor at Stephen F. Austin State University.


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2018 Saturday Night Performance

Relic

RELIC is a rock and roll band from  Texas comprised of Jake Baker (vocals, guitar), Nathan Slonaker (drums), and Elias Lopez (bass). Check out their music at song.link/straydogs!