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A Santa Maria High School graduate and a teacher will see if they have what it takes to make it in Hollywood this Saturday.

Joanna Escobar and guitar and choir teacher John Van Wie will audition for the “America’s Got Talent” television show at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Escobar will sing “At Last”, which was covered by blues vocalist Etta James in 1960. Van Wie will accompany her on guitar. “I believe that a positive song can change the whole world,’’ she said. “Music isn't a hobby it is a lifestyle for me because it is a part of my heart and soul. Music is powerful and can make someone feel sad or happy and I like to use music to make people feel happy. It is a nice feeling to believe in myself but an even better feeling to have the support of my teachers, friends and family believe in me. I am hoping one day I can share my dreams and passion for music with my hometown Santa Maria.’’

Van Wie knows his former student has an “excellent chance”.

“She’s a super talented singer and songwriter who also plays guitar, drums and piano,’’ Van Wie said.

Escobar was in the Saint Choir for more than three years and now attends Hancock College.


NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or kplatt@smjuhsd.org. You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.