By Mr. Jack Wiers (IMCOM)November 18, 2013
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii (Nov. 2, 2013) -- Buoyed by a pair of talented singers supported by a raucous cheering section, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, "Wolfhounds," 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division swept the top two spots at U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's 2013 Operation Rising Star Competition, here, Oct. 24.
Winner Joyce Ann Severino rocked the Nehelani with a pair of Whitney Houston pop classics, "What Will Be" and "Run to You," to win the $500 first-place prize.
With the win, she also becomes eligible for selection to the upcoming Installation Management Command's Army-wide finals. A video of Severino's winning performance will be sent to Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation headquarters for finals consideration. A team from Army Entertainment will select the top 12 contestants to travel and compete in San Antonio in early December.
The Schofield Barracks spouse is hopeful about her selection to the finals, as is her husband, Sgt. Jesus Severino, Co. F, 2-27th Inf. Regt., who talked about how his wife's talent is constantly on display around the house.
"She loves it (to sing), and we support her 100 percent," said Sgt. Severino.
Severino, who was born and raised in the Philippines, has been singing since she was 8 years old; she began receiving voice training when she was 15.
In fact, Sgt. Severino said he is still shocked to see his wife being recognized and asked for autographs when she returns to her hometown of Marakura, the Philippines, where she began singing as a youngster in her local church.
Severino also has a big fan base in Hawaii, a portion of which was very much evident at the finals.
"Outstanding!" proclaimed Chief Warrant Officer Lucia Escobelo, 307th Expeditionary Signal Bn., 516th Sig. Brigade, following Severino's second performance of the night, which brought many in the crowd to their feet.
"I knew that's what she was capable of doing," Escobelo said.
Finishing second was Sgt 1st Class Deighton Little, also from the 2-27th Inf. Regt., who also dazzled the large and supportive audience by showing his musical range, from pop to country to reggae music, during the course of the competition.
Like Severino, Little described his love of singing and music as central to who he is.
"(Music) is the biggest part of my life," wrote Little, a husband and father of two, in his contest bio sheet. "I can't live without it."
Both Severino and Little were approached immediately following the competition about making appearances on local radio.
Members of the Wolfhound ohana were not finished scoring victories at the Operation Rising Star finals following the first- and second-place victories of Joyce Severino and Sgt 1st Class Deighton Little, respectively.
The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Rising Star program, designed to emulate the successful "American Idol" television show format, gave audience members ballots to help judges choose the winners.
In addition, a unit "Spirit Award" was to be presented to the unit/Family Readiness Group (FRG) that demonstrated the most enthusiasm.
To the surprise of no one, the judges gave the $300 grand prize donation to the group from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division.
Also beefing up the Wolfhounds' unit funds was Little's $250 cash prize for his second-place finish.
That money, friends said, has already been committed to an upcoming FRG family event gathering, capping the winning night for the battalion.