Performances

HOST

Autria Godfrey

Autria Godfrey is an Emmy Award winning news Anchor of Good Morning Washington and ABC7 News at Noon. She came to WJLA in 2011 from CBS Newspath and Fox News Edge where she was a freelance reporter and producer.

Before moving to mornings, Autria served as weekend anchor and reporter. She's traveled to Nashville to cover the Country Music Awards, reported live from Dallas for the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, and anchored ABC7's continuous coverage during the Navy Yard Shooting. Her political reporting during Vote 2012 earned her an Emmy nomination.

During the past few years, she's covered everything from the midterm elections of 2010 to the rescue of the Chilean miners. Before that she was White House/Congressional correspondent for the Tribune Broadcasting Washington D.C. Bureau.

From crisscrossing the country covering presidential and vice-presidential debates, to braving the frigid temperatures of Inauguration Day on the national mall, Autria had a front row seat to history in the making as she covered Campaign 2008 for Tribune's 23 television stations.

Autria got her start in Charlottesville, VA where she served as reporter, weekend anchor and finally morning anchor of Good Morning Charlottesville. During those two years, she covered the Virginia Tech shootings, the death of Reverend Jerry Falwell, and the visit by Queen Elizabeth II to historic Williamsburg.

She's a proud graduate of Texas A&M University (Gig 'Em) and studied at American University as part of the Washington Semester Program.


PERFORMERS

ETHAN WALMARK

Ethan Walmark, age 12 began to play piano by ear at 15 months. When a preschool educator advised his parents to “take away all his music; you want him in your world, not his,” they instead chose to foster his talents, and exposed him to a myriad of musical experiences. Rather than retreat inward, music — more than any other therapy — positively transformed every aspect of Ethan’s life.

In April 2012, Ethan became an Internet sensation when a video of him playing and singing Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” went viral. The video received over 2 million “hits” and Mr. Joel said, “I think I like his intro to ‘Piano Man’ better than mine… Maybe he could teach me a few things.” A School of Rock Fairfield (Connecticut) music student — and House Band member — Ethan is a sought after musician. Ethan’s band CLUELESS — formed by fellow School of Rock musicians — have performed for crowds of +30,000, opened three times for renowned international all-female cover band Lez Zeppelin, and are involved in numerous charitable endeavors.

Ethan’s other accomplishments include:

  • Two-time (and youngest) recipient of The McCarron Foundation’s “Genius of Autism” Award

  • Named Autism Speaks’ “2012-2013 “Volunteer of the Year”

  • Named “Autism Light #309” for his musicianship

  • Named a worldwide Child Prodigy (#3 out of 20)

  • Nominated as “Most Adorable Viral Star” at the “O Music Awards”

  • Performed “The National Anthem” for Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls

  • Broadway’s “School of Rock” Finalist

  • Lead performer in numerous amateur theatrical productions

Ethan, his parents Michael and Allison, and sister Eliza live in Westport, Connecticut. He just entered middle school, and thrives in a typical, public school environment. In summer, Ethan attends French Woods Festival for the Arts sleep away camp. Wherever Ethan goes — much like Norm from “Cheers” — ‘everybody knows his name’.”

Ethan’s videos can be found at: Here or Google: Allison Walmark YouTube


Performance

Rachel Platten

Hands sweaty, heart pounding, Rachel Platten stands backstage at the International Soca Monarch Finals, about to take the stage for the very first time to sing in front of 80,000 people. This is moment that would forever change her life. “When I stepped on [that] stage, it was like I was struck with a bolt of electricity,” recalls the pop artist. “I had that aha moment of ‘Oh God, this is what I’m supposed to do with my life!’”

In the next decade, groundwork would be laid for “Fight Song,” the first single from her Columbia Records debut. “Fight Song” is an uplifting anthem that perfectly embodies Rachel’s own vulnerability and power, with a “don’t give up” message that resonates across all audiences.

After finishing college, Rachel immediately set out for New York City where she took up residence in the very apartment building on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village where Bob Dylan once lived. Naturally, she found a band on Craigslist and started performing in clubs around the city. The next few years consisted of paying dues through a mix of temping during the day and getting fired a lot, gigging until 4am, and lugging an 80-pound keyboard to her fifth floor walk-up night after night. Despite the struggle and the setbacks, Rachel loved being on stage, even if at times nobody was listening.

When it was time to branch out beyond New York, Rachel sat in a coffee shop on MacDougal Street, made up an email address, and contacted small coffee shops around the country as “her agent.” People wrote back and she soon booked her first tour. After that, she teamed up with a talented young manager, Freddy Wexler, who broadened her horizons and sent her on a writing trip to Europe to work with several songwriters and producers. After this trip, she pulled her demos together into an album and signed with an indie label that released her single, “1000 Ships.” Despite some moderate success with the record, her single, and management, the indie record deal had all run its course.

“I felt crazy sometimes that I still believed in myself when there were no signs that I should.” During this time, a conversation with her soon to be manager, Ben Singer, helped reignite her passion. “Ben helped me realize that I had to start my own fire and my songs would be the sparks.”

After two years of writing, Rachel would find her first big spark with “Fight Song.” She turned inward by telling her own story through it. Turns out it was just the message people needed. The fire that “Fight Song” ignited has connected not only with music fans but also Columbia Records. Now planning her major label debut, Rachel is touring the U.S. with Andy Grammer, performing a number of songs from her cache. Songs like “Lone Ranger,” a nod to her gutsy road warrior side; “Congratulations,” a passive aggressive jab that she wrote through angry tears after a fight with a friend; and “Better Place.”