American Traditions Competition winner crowned Thursday night - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

American Traditions Competition winner crowned Thursday night

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The American Traditions Competition finale was held at the Savannah Theatre on Thursday night.

It all started Sunday with 14 musicians hoping to take home the gold medal and sign a contract to work as a soloist with the Savannah Philharmonic. It narrowed down round by round with competitors singing tunes like “America the Beautiful”, “Singin' in the Rain” and of course Johnny Mercer's “Moon River.”

But the big winner tonight was Michael Maliakel with his performance of “Cry Me a River” and two other songs.

"This is a way to promote and encourage and feature these wonderful young performers who are going to go on in the world and they're all going to be stars. I'm sure of that,” said Marilyn Mae, judge.

The artistic consultant for this year's competition says each contestant’s talent and style exceeded all expectations.

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