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WNY singers head to The Voice auditions in Chicago

Posted at 12:03 AM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 00:03:28-05

It's the chords they've been working to tune up for the big day... vocal chords, that is! And you don't have to go too far to find talented musicians dancing their way to Chicago in less than a week.

"I'm really excited... words cannot explain... I'm really excited!" said Chase Williams, one of the singers auditioning for The Voice.

Although 13-year-old Chase Williams is the youngest singer in the group, he has an old soul when it comes to song selection. He prefers singing songs from the 80's and 90's.

"My challenge is going against all the old people," said Williams after singing Purple Rain by Prince. "It takes a lot of practice. I practice a lot."

But practice is fun for the musicians, including the oldest in the pack, 26-year-old Chris O'Malley.

"Music is absolutely medicine," said O'Malley, who also plays guitar. "You had a bad day? Music. You had a good day? Music. I'm getting married? Music."

Music is what ties this group together, and gets their feet moving. It's the 18th year Bello Studio is heading to voice-related shows.

"We started off the second year of American Idol, went to X-Factor, and now The Voice," said Debbie Monroe, who has been a professional vocal coach for more than 20 years.

But it's the third time they're headed to The Voice. This year, there's a new twist!

"This year they lowered the age to thirteen, which encompasses a lot more people that are coming with us," said Monroe.

Many going to Chicago are newcomers, but a couple of the older ones in the group have done this several times before.

"It's an opportunity, and if you have an opportunity, you should take it because you never know what the outcome might be," said Zach Zafuto, who has auditioned three times in the past five years.

"[It's my] 8th or 9th time [auditioning]... I could stop if I wanted to, but why not?" said Erika Hill, who also teaches at Bello Voice Studio. "There's a very fine line between somebody being a good singer and a good artist. I think that passion and drive and ambition is what separates that."