McCordsville vocalist wins 17-and-older title at CarmelFest Has Talent


Kaylee Johnson-Bradley was encouraged by her first appearance in CarmelFest Has Talent.

Kaylee Johnson-Bradley pauses with her trophy for winning the 17-and-older division at CarmelFest Has Talent. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

“I entered two years ago and got second place in my category,” Johnson-Bradley said. “I heard they were doing it again, so I wanted to come back and try to win.”

The 19-year-old McCordsville resident did just that by capturing first place in the 17-and-older talent competition July 4 on the Carmel Gazebo stage.

Johnson-Bradley, a 2020 Mount Vernon High School graduate and Butler University student, sang “Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J.

“I got an award for it, so I feel I did pretty good,” said Johnson-Bradley, who is in an a cappella group at Butler.

Isabella Agresta, 17, Indianapolis, finished second, and vocalist Grace McKillip, 22, Greentown, was third. McKillip, whose maiden name is Eckelbarger, previously lived in Noblesville.

The finalists earned $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third.

Linus Bergsma pauses with his trophy for winning the age 13-to-16 division at CarmelFest Has Talent. (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

Carmel resident Linus Bergsma, 13, who gave a violin performance of “Concerto No. 5 in D Minor” by Friedrich Seitz, was the age 13 to 16 division winner. He entered after his mother showed him information about the competition in Current in Carmel.

“I thought it looked fun, so I thought I’d try it,” said.  Bergsma, who will be an eighth-grader at Our Lady of Mount Carmel this fall.

Noblesville’s Ali Boice,15, placed second, and Carmel’s Nate Koss, 16, was third.

The top three finishers in the 12-and-under category were all from Carmel. Mount Nebo, which includes five Foster family siblings, took first place. The bluegrass group was included in 12-and-under because only one of the siblings was older than 12. The Foster family members are

Hannah, 14, banjo; Josephine, 12, mandolin; Elizabeth, 12, guitar; Luke, 11, fiddle; and

Michael, 9, dobro. The band performed “Foggy Mountain Rock” by Earl Scruggs.

Pianist Dhairya Shah, 10, took second place and Audrey Gradle, 9, finished third.