As a part of the Pawleys Island Festival of Music and Arts, Elise Testone will perform Sunday, October6, 2013 at 6:00. A collaborative fundraiser for Teach My People, the local organization whose mission is to teach children and youth in the Pawleys Island area to overcome academic, economic and social challenges and impact families through the delivery of Christ centered programs and services that promote spiritual, educational, and emotional growth.
The event starts at 6:00, but gates open at 5:00 at the Reserve Golf Club of Pawleys Island. Tickets will be available at at the door, or by calling 843-626-8911. General admission is $25, Perferred Seating, $40.
Elise Testone is a singer and songwriter from Kinnelon, New Jersey, who has spent the past year embarking on an ambitious journey competing on the 11th Season of the reality television show, American Idol. Testone placed 6th overall, with her standout performance being her rendition of Led Zeppelin’s anthem “Whole Lotta Love.” The performance gained a standing ovation from celebrity judges Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez and Randy Jackson.
“You made Robert Plant proud,” Steven Tyler praised.
“That’s the hardest song to sing- and you did an amazing job,” Randy added.
“That was some real rock star stuff,” Jennifer Lopez gushed.
Teach My People
Teach My People provides year round high quality, organized programs that are spiritually driven and “no-cost” to our families. Through the expertise of our highly trained and educated staff, along with the loving support and dedication of over seventy community volunteers, we are able to provide academic assistance, character development, cultural and spiritual enrichment, and physical activity daily to ensure that our students succeed in school and succeed in life.
Teach My People is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1999 and is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of long-standing community leaders and educators.
To teach children and youth in the Waccamaw school district to overcome academic, economic and social challenges and impact families through the delivery of Christ centered programs and services that promote spiritual, educational, and emotional growth.
More on Elise
Growing up in Kinnelon, New Jersey, Testone’s first performance was at age 6, when her first grade classmates recognized her singing abilities and nominated her to sing a solo. Her parents continued to cultivate Testone’s natural vocal ability by enrolling her in vocal lessons, in addition to clarinet and percussion lessons. By college, Testone’s passion for music was clearer than ever. With a focus in Vocal Performance, Testone received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Coastal Carolina University in 2005. During her four years at CCU, Testone gained experience by utilizing all the music related opportunities the school had to offer, including Gospel Choir, Concert Choir, Pop 101, Music History, Private Vocal Coaching and more. Two weeks before her Senior Recital called “Word Painting”, where she took attendees on a multi genre musical journey through English, Italian, French and German pieces, she capped off her college years by independently arranging a 21 song concert with background vocals, full band, orchestra, Dancers and guests; including a duet with World Renowned Bassist Steve Bailey; that to this day is still talked about on Campus. She refers to the show as one of the proudest moments of her life.
“Arranging this large scale concert down to every detail, from the backup band and singers to dancers to lighting- was a defining moment for me as an artist and as a person,” Testone explains. “I was able to show everyone that I was a passionate, well-rounded musician. This show was not a requirement for my degree – it was my choice, and it meant so much to me.”
After college, Testone became the lead singer of Saxophonist Simon Harding’s Jazz Ensemble performing classic Jazz Standards and Blues weekly. She also performed in a regular Blues Trio with Guitarist George Davis and Saxophonist Daniel O’Reilly.
Testone moved to Charleston in 2006 picking up a regular gig on Broad Street on move-in day. Gaining momentum in the Charleston music community, she formed several bands and projects, developing a name for herself quickly.
“Elise has always been known as one of the hardest working musicians in the Charleston area,” said Charleston drummer Daniel Crider. “She would perform 7-10 gigs a week- making every opportunity a possibility, with no complaints. She even lugged around and set up her own gear!”
In addition to live shows, Testone taught voice lessons five days a week at Music Unlimited, a Rock ‘n Roll music school in Mount Pleasant, SC, from 2007 to 2011. Students ranged anywhere from age 6 to 63. “My students inspired me with every lesson I gave. I could only hope that I’ve inspired them as much,” Testone said. “I am so grateful for all that they’ve taught me.”
In 2011, one of Testone’s bands, Elise Testone and the Freeloaders, was voted Best Funk/Soul/R&B Artist of the Year in Charleston by readers of the Charleston City Paper. The band’s set list included blues/rock originals and music from Stevie Wonder, Prince, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Black Crows and more. In 2012 Testone was voted Singer of the Year by the same paper.
Since completing her American Idol journey, Testone’s main focus is to record her first studio album. Her Piano, Guitar and Percussion skills help aid her in the production of her original compositions. She continues to perform throughout the country today.