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St. Lazare teen wins Star Search competition

Singing since she was a child, high school student Solange Simard’s talent stands out

Growing up in a talented musical family, a St. Lazare teenager did herself and her community proud upon winning the GX94 Star Search contest this summer.

Solange Simard, the 16-year-old daughter of Rene and Tanya Simard, was named the winner of the Yorkton radio station’s event, with the finals held as part of the Yorkton Exhibition.

“It was quite a surprise to be named the winner of the competition held for its 28th year, as my goal was only to pass through the semi-finals, as previously I didn’t make it through,” said Simard. “After my performance I was feeling confident and optimistic to see who was going to be selected. It was one of the best performances I did overall in the singing competition so I felt there was a possibility.”

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Her voice, talent, drive and determination stood out, and she took home a number of prizes including a Montana Silversmith belt buckle, a Washburn acoustic/electric guitar, recording of two songs, and a limited-edition GX 94 Star Search jacket.

Simard said she will be recording two of her own compositions.

Singing since a child, Simard has participated in music festivals, along with voice, theatre, piano, and dance competitions. She has passionately shared her natural talent with family and friends over the years, while attending Ecole Saint Lazare.

French is an important language to the Simard family. Participating in a French National Music competition in Quebec in 2017, the high school student’s voice was chosen to cover one of its songs on a CD.

As a soloist, backup singer, or lead vocalist, Simard shares her musical drive with her three siblings, who are also very talented.

“My oldest sister plays the piano and sings, too. My older brother plays all sorts of instruments with strings including guitar, bass, ukulele, and my youngest sister is starting to play piano and she also loves to sing,” said Simard. “Taking it one step further, the four of us have made our own family album, recorded by our music teacher and friend.”

Backed by the support and loyalty of her parents, one day her name may be on music festival lineups. If so, taking a front row seat will be her parents, as their pride makes the St. Lazare prodigy strive to do her very best.

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