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Jenning Lodge's Jupiter-Davidson takes skills to top as first winner of masters singing championship

In November, Val-Jeanne' Jupiter-Davidson did something she didn't think was possible — she won the first-ever World Masters Singing Championship, put on by the World Karaoke Tour in Las Vegas.

COURTESY PHOTO - When she was named the winner of the World Masters Singing Championship, Val-Jeanne Jupiter-Davidson was given a medal and a trophy to commemorate the event. The WKT is the world circuit for competitive karaoke singing, with performers entering from around the world to vie for prestigious titles in four categories — solo, teen, duet and masters. This was the first year for the master's category, Jupiter-Davidson noted, adding that singers age 45 and up were eligible for that division.

Jupiter-Davidson, the activities coordinator at Homewoods on the Willamette in Jennings Lodge, said she grew up singing jazz and classical and has been a member of choirs and other singing groups over the years. She now finds karaoke not only fun, but a way "to relieve stress and get people excited."

Last July, she entered a WKT event in Salem and qualified as a state finalist, which earned her a place in a larger competition in Las Vegas that same month. When she finished in the top 20, she was invited back to Las Vegas to compete in the WKT's World Singing Championships in November.

Once there, she competed in three rounds; first singing "Ode to Billy Joe" and then "Who's Sorry Now" in the solo division.

When it was announced that there was a new masters division, Jupiter-Davidson asked to be moved to that competition and sang Melissa Etheredge's "I'm the Only One."

After the judges deliberated, Jupiter-Davidson was called up on stage and it was announced that she had won the masters division.

"I totally broke down; it was really surreal. (Winning) was an accomplishment, and I'm blown away every time I think about it."

For those who think karaoke singing is easy, Jupiter-Davidson notes there is an art to the performance.

"You have to engage the audience, you have to know your music, and you have to have stage presence," she said.

Love of singing

Jupiter-Davidson said she comes from a musical theater background and has always loved performing.

Her mother, who was a professional jazz singer, took Jupiter-Davidson to plays and museums, to further her cultural education. As an adult, she has been a member of "Wonderbroads," performing song parodies; was involved in vocal groups at Portland Community College, where she earned an associate's degree; and was in a choral chamber choir.

She also sang the national anthem four times at the Portland Speedway.

A year ago, Jupiter-Davidson was hired as the activities director at Homewoods on the Willamette, a job she said she was blessed to find.

"I love it here; it's a beautiful place and the staff is a great group to work with," she said.

Supportive residents

Jupiter-Davidson said that when the residents at Homewoods on the Willamette learned about her karaoke prowess, they began asking her to perform for them.

In September, one of the entertainers invited to Homewoods asked Jupiter-Davidson to sing and she performed "Bye Bye Blackbird," "My Blue Heaven" and "Summertime," among other standards.

It brought joy to the residents and made her joyful, as well, Jupiter-Davidson said.

"I love bringing music to people. I love making people happy, and music is the universal language," she said.

"Music is always my go-to catharsis when I feel myself getting stressed," Jupiter-Davidson said.

As for what's next on her agenda, she said her husband thinks she should audition for "The Voice."

She added, "But for me right now, I am basking in this big achievement."

For more information about the World Karaoke Tour, visit facebook.com/worldkaraoketour/photos or worldkaraoketour.com.


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