Northwest Indiana's Premiere Youth Performance Competition

Meet the Judges

Our 2021 Judges

Mayor Sue Lynch grew up in Wheeler, Indiana and is a lifelong resident of Porter County. She has lived in Portage for the past 24 years. She has served in her local government since 2007. Sue is a Life Member of the Vietnam Veterans Associates and a member of Vietnam Veterans Chapter 905, where she was the editor of the Vet Gazette for over 10 years. She is also a member of American Legion Post 502 Auxiliary and serves as the Post’s newsletter editor. She is a member of the Dunes Leathernecks Marine Corps Detachment 1056 and serves on the Porter County Veteran’s Panel.

Sue is a Board Member of the Portage Township Live Entertainment Association and the Maestro Society. She is also a member of the Portage Historical Society and the Bonner Senior Center. As a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Portage, Sue serves as Outreach Coordinator and as a Shepherd. She also works with the Ladies Guild on various projects.

Lisa Woodruff Hedin is pleased to serve as a judge for this exciting competition. Following a decade in Chicago professional theatre, Lisa has appeared in more than 36 musicals and plays at 16 different area theatres, performed in dozens of cabaret performances and fundraisers, produced or vocal directed more than a dozen different shows, and has been awarded NIETF’s Best Actress in A Musical three times – Desiree in A Little Night Music, Big Edie/Little Edie in Grey Gardens, Margaret Johnson in The Light in the Piazza and Best Actress in a Play once, for Elinor of Aquitane in A Lion in Winter. She teaches private voice from her home to teenagers and adults and loves it.  She regularly fledges her students into prestigious music and musical theatre colleges around the country. She coaches dozens of ISSMA students at Highland High School every year, as she has done for more than a decade, and now costumes the shows for Highland Theatre Company. Lisa had also judged numerous speech meets and other local choral events.  She would like to thank Regional Performing Arts Company for the opportunity to enjoy more young talent.

Dr. Christopher S. Ebert grew up in Lake Village, Indiana and now lives in Lowell on his family’s farm. Originally, he intended to obtain an education degree from Indiana State University, however, when he joined the choir he had a change of heart. The choir conductor, Richard Zielinski, inspired him to earn his Bachelor of Science Liberal Arts degree, with an emphasis on music education specifically. After earning this degree, Chris returned to achieve his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting. Serving in the Army from 2002-2007, Christopher came back and earned his Doctorate in Sacred Music from Graduate Theological Foundation. Dr. Ebert currently serves as the Director of Music at the First United Methodist Church in Valparaiso.