San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

October 4th, 2011
San Marcos Has Talent finalists announced



The San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce 109th Annual Awards Gala on Nov. 3 will feature four diverse performances from local talent selected by the San Marcos Has Talent judges.

The four finalists are 3rd Generation, Brandon Smith, Abby Bowers, and Curtis Clay.

The four finalists will be performing in front of an anticipated crowd of 500-600 people at the chamber’s Nov. 3 gala and will compete for a cash prize of $500. Voting will take place in two ways. Beginning October 4th, anyone interested in voting for their favorite performer can go to and watch the four finalists’ semi-final performance. At the end of each video, viewers will have the option of casting votes at $1 each.

On the evening of the 109th Annual Awards Gala, after all four have performed, those in attendance will have the opportunity to cast a ballot for their favorite performance. The act with the most combined votes (online and in-person) will be declared the winner of San Marcos Has Talent.

The four finalists got to this point after auditions in mid-September and a competion on Sept. 27. Twelve semi-finalists competed. Judges for the event included Don Anders of Anders; Susan Angell-Gonzalez, director of the world-renowned, Texas State Strutters; Lauren Smith, head captain of the Texas State Strutters; Rick Bowen, president of the San Marcos Performing Arts Association; and Akiko Rockers, a director with the Mid-Texas Symphony.


Almost 40 performers auditioned for the very first San Marcos Has Talent and each of them brought their unique talents for the chance to grab for the top prize.

“Without the time and talent of our judges, this event would never have gotten to this point,” said Brandee Otto, chair of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce Special Events committee. “We can’t thank them enough for their hard work in selecting our finalists.”

3rd Generation is a family band comprised of Emma, Hannah, Chuck and Jack Baker. The Bakers have been playing the piano since the age of 5. After playing piano for 5 years, they each chose an additional instrument of choice, and formed a band. They play at many German festivals, organizations, conventions, as well as church gatherings. Not only do they perform at many restaurants, they also play for A Hero’s Welcome in San Antonio, the USO, Texas ATM Coach’s night, Beethoven’s, Oktoberfest, Wurstfest, as well as the opening band for Catie Offerman, The Derailers, Asleep At the Wheel and Two Tons of Steel.

Curtis Clay, who works at Texas State University, has been singing in front of people since he was eight years old. He has performed and shared the stage with many of the greats over the years with artist from many genres of music including, The Mighty Clouds of Joy, Shirley Caesar, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Will Smith. He has performed the National Anthem at games for the Los Angeles Lakers, L.A. Clippers, and San Diego Padres. Curtis has also been able to tour around the world with The Buck Ram Platters and performed with them at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra, directed by Marvin Hamlisch. He is also a singer and songwriter and released his self produced CD entitled “A Chance I Gotta Take” in 2006. This is a collection of “country soul” music written by him that combines all the musical influences in his life. He is currently working on another self produced CD.


Brandon Smith is a 25-year old guitarist, singer/songwriter from San Marcos. He began playing at 13 and has been writing and performing his own music for the last five years. He has recently developed a small following in the San Marcos area, and the numbers of fans continue to grow. In April of 2009, Brandon made his radio debut in Houston on 90.1 KPFT-FM, performing several songs in-studio on Pat & Rosie’s Night Sounds, a program showcasing local and regional talent. Brandon has written and self-recorded two albums (“Sing This Song” which debuted in 2005 and “Inner Space” that was produced in 2007) and he is currently working on music for a third album.

Abby Bowers is 16 years old and is in the 11th grade at San Marcos High School. Growing up in San Antonio, she moved to San Marcos in third grade. She has a passion for the fine arts including voice and theater. She was a member of the Miller Jr. High choir, earning 1st Chair Soprano II in the All-Region UIL Competition for the 2007-2008 school year and 2nd chair for the 2008-2009 school year. Abby was also a member of the TMEA All-Region Choir her freshman and sophomore years, and made the TMEA All-Area Choir as a sophomore. In addition to voice and theater, she has taken piano and guitar lessons for five years, and began writing music when she was 11. She is a straight “A” student, a member of the Gifted and Talented Program, a candidate for National Honor Society, top six percent of her class, a member of the Golf team at her school and the current SMHS Choir President. After high school, Abby plans on getting a music degree from an institution of higher learning.

3rd Generation. SUBMITTED PHOTO

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