Who would have thought that Coldplay on cello could sound so cool and mellow? Or that tickling the ivories while whistling La Vie en rose can put the exclamation point on a romantic standard?

Those of you who attended this month’s St. Louis Teen Talent Competition finals probably are still smiling at the memory of that remarkable night, when the area’s top high school acts came together to showcase just how exceptional a young person’s imagination and creativity can be.

The contest, presented by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, is in its third year and—judging from the packed house at The Fox—is becoming a St. Louis tradition. The competition is overseen by the magnificent Mary Strauss, who tells me that this is her next grand undertaking. (You may remember some 30 years ago, Mary embarked on one of these ‘projects.’) So I don’t know about you, but when Mary starts talking like that, I pay attention.

Our coverage of the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition begins on p. 6.