By Olivia Levada Lenoir
As a chemical engineering student on a campus full of engineers, Maddie Durling did not stick out until she managed to sing her way out of the status quo.
Maddie Durling now holds the Cal Poly Pomona’s Got Talent crown after winning the competition.
Maddie Durling was one of 10 contestants that showcased their talents, which ranged from song to ventriloquism.
“It was like nerve racking leading up to it,” said Maddie Durling.
CPP’s Got Talent marked the second time Maddie Durling had performed as a solo artist.
“I was fine until the morning of, and then I definitely got the jitters,” said Maddie Durling.
“The judges scored in three categories: talent, crowd appeal and stage presence,” said Sarah Bauer, Associated Students, Inc. associate director of programs, in an email correspondence.
Some talent show attendees agreed with the judges’ verdict.
Kate Posavatdy, a third-year mathematics student, described Maddie Durling’s performance as “riveting.”
According to Posavatdy, the crowd fed off of Maddie Durling’s energy.
“Her vocals were just amazing,” said Posavatdy.
Posavatdy is not the only one satisfied with the judge’s choice.
“It was really good. I was really impressed. I got chills honestly,” said Marc Rodriguez, a third-year English student.
Four days after posting her performance video on Facebook, Maddie Durling collected more than 790 views.
“It’s a little overwhelming ” I don’t take compliments well,” said Maddie Durling.
Nerves prevented Maddie Durling from auditioning for last year’s talent show.
“I had told myself I was going to do it last year, but I chickened out. That almost happened this year,” said Maddie Durling.
She felt unprepared when she first heard about auditions. However, her friend notified her of a second audition date.
Maddie Durling’s bravery, however, led her to a prize of $100 via MasterCard and Visa gift cards. She celebrated by treating her roommates and friend to Frostbites Crepes & Frozen Delights after the talent show.
However, Maddie Durling credits her generosity to her modest upbringing.
Durling grew up in Antioch, California. Daughter of Ron Durling, a nuclear engineer, and Joni Durling, a homemaker, Maddie Durling received a home school education up until the age of 14, when she attended junior college.
Her father played bass in college, and her mother does not have a musical background. But Maddie Durling is the second oldest out of six musically inclined children.
The 20-year-old transferred from community college to CPP in 2013 and is now a member of CPP’s Kellogg Chamber Singers.
Maddie Durlingbegan singing at the age of 4 in her church’s children’s choir.
At age 10, Maddie Durling received her first banjo for Christmas. The local music store did not provide banjo lessons. As a result, she found a banjo instructor through her mailman, who knew a music teacher.
Maddie Durling visually learned how to play her instruments, which include banjo and piano.
At age 11, she became a junior endorsee for the Deering Banjo Company.
Maddie Durling has played banjo in her band, Sweet Everlasting, for five years. The bluegrass band has performed at charity concerts and farmers markets.
Along with her sisters, she also performs at family weddings in a four-part choir.
Thus, performing on CPP’s stage alone as she sang over the track “Creep” by Radiohead marked a unique experience for Maddie Durling.
“Being the center of attention during a performance is definitely new for me,” said Maddie Durling.
However, her family is proud and not surprised by her success.
“She has a very beautiful voice, and we are use to it. We are very blessed by it,” said Joni Durling. Joni Durling said she hopes to watch Maddie Durling in CPP’s Got Talent, if she participates again next year.
Outside of singing, Maddie Durling strives to obtain a career in water treatment in the Bay Area. Her goal is to get water to communities affected by the drought.
She is particularly intrigued by innovations within water treatment technology.
“I’ve always been into science,” said Maddie Durling.
Chemical engineering is her overall goal; however, she cannot stay away from music.
“I don’t think I would ever drop singing,'” said Maddie Durling.
Karina Ultreras / The Poly Post
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