Hoping to launch performing arts careers

The iiT Factor teen group performs to a mash-up of Journey’s classic rock hit “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and Lady Gaga’s “On the Edge” at the debut show in Port Orchard Dec. 17.  - Cristina Cortez
The iiT Factor teen group performs to a mash-up of Journey’s classic rock hit “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and Lady Gaga’s “On the Edge” at the debut show in Port Orchard Dec. 17.
— image credit: Cristina Cortez

By Tim Kelly
Port Orchard Independent

Tapping into the pop culture phenomenon that is “Glee,” a new performing arts studio in Port Orchard presented its debut show Dec. 17.

The iiT Factor opened in September in a second-floor storage room converted into a studio above Mile High Gymnastics. Owner/instructor Amy Deangelo Hines said her program is “specifically geared to a ‘Glee’-type performing group.”

The 30 youngsters in three age groups — from South and Central Kitsap — who signed up for the initial session this fall sang and performed choreographed routines in the Christmas-themed program Dec. 17 on the stage at Marcus Whitman Junior High School.

Hines has a performing background that goes back to teaching herself to play piano in grade school, singing in an elite choir in high school, and sneaking into bars when she was underage so she could sing in karaoke contests.

In addition to preparing and directing all the youngsters’ performances, she showed off her own vocal talent Dec. 17, accompanied by guitarist Jeremia Alexander as she performed a song she wrote called “Yesterday.”

Her husband Danny, who will retire in September after 20 years in the Navy, arranges and composes all the music for performances in the iiT (stands for Idols in Training) show.

It was their daughter, 14-year-old Carina Lia, who opened Saturday’s show with a solo rendition of “Please Come Home for Christmas.” Their 7-year-old son, Cameron, sang with the youngest group of performers.

Another highlight was the 13-member teen group’s performance to a mash-up Danny Hines synthesized from Journey’s classic rock hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” and Lady Gaga’s “On the Edge.”

There were no reality TV shows featuring amateur singers when Amy Deangelo Hines was a young, aspiring performer, but she hopes some of the youngsters she’s training might go on to audition for “American Idol” or “X Factor.”

“It’s really a passion of mine,” she says. “I put my heart and soul into everything I do with those kids.”

And the program’s already growing. Hines said 45 students are signed up for the next session that starts in January, and she plans to start a young adults “Glee” group at iiT Factor.

For enrollment information, call (360) 499-6033.



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