Tyler Burd was crowned No. 1 in the third annual East Islip Idol, but all 21 of the middle-school students competing to sing their hearts out at the November 3 event came away winners.

Produced by Music Idol Entertainment at the high school auditorium, the finals show was sponsored by the East Islip Middle School Tri-M Music Honor Society and advisors Judy Fischer and Concetta Stevens. “The reason why we began East Islip Idol in 2009 was to have an event that would be fun for the entire school and district,” explained Stevens.

This year over 125 students tried out, and 40 made it to the October 20 semifinals, whittled down to 21 children performing at the final show. Winner Burd’s prizes included gift certificates, the chance to record his chosen song in a professional recording studio and an interview on WBLI. The other top finishers– first runner-up Jenna Anderson, second runner-up Matthew Waldron and third runner-up Tynasia Whitaker – also received gift certificates and trophies. Proceeds from ticket sales went to benefit the Tri-M scholarship fund as well as a special donation for East Islip Middle School sports.

"I think this is a wonderful event because it brings the community together to support and cheer for all the performers,” said Stevens. “It is just so fun. Kids have told us that East Islip Idol is their fondest memory at the middle school."