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Kansas City Native Wins 4th Annual Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition

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Luca Sensi
Lucy Wijnands, vocalist and artist

Lucy Wijnands recently beat 64 other submissions and four fellow finalists to clinch the top spot.

The Wijnands's name may be familiar to many; Lucy's father is Bram Wijnands, the great stride pianist, who has performed in Kansas City for years.

Lucy Wijnands has another connection to "The First Lady of Song" having been the Ella Fitzgerald Scholar at the State University of New York Purchase’s Conservatory of Music .

Her song selections for the finals were “Dearly Beloved”, “Laura” and “Too Marvelous for Words” by lyricist Johnny Mercer and previously sung by Fitzgerald.

Asked what can be learned from Ella Fitzgerald's life and career, Wignands replied, "I think she can teach us to always persevere, be joyous and sing from the heart. I think it's always from the heart and telling your story individually."

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at