Group with Port Angeles family ties competes on CBS television show

PORT ANGELES — A Port Angeles High School graduate could be taking his family to fame this week.

John Lorentzen, 48, who now lives in Sparks, Nev., penned a tune and recorded his four children singing.

It has shot them to the top 20 competitors in the nation in CBS’s “Singing Family Face Off.”

Throughout this week the top six families will be announced live in the mornings.

Then those competitors will each have the chance to perform live on “The Early Show” to see who will get a recording contract with CBS.

The competition, according to the CBS Web site, is searching for families akin to the Partridge Family or the Jonas Brothers.

John Lorentzen and wife Laura’s children, Anne, 21, Katheryn, 13, Lisa, 16, and Mark, 23, are all very musical, Richard Lorentzen, John’s father, said.

Richard Lorentzen, who still lives with his wife, Alice, in their Port Angeles home after about 50 years, said he is anxious to see how his grandchildren do on the show.

Proud grandfather

A proud grandpa, he said he told his son to call him to let him know the results as soon as it happens — even though that would be at 4 a.m. in Port Angeles.

“John wrote this song a long time ago, and he just had the kids sing it and sent it in,” Richard Lorentzen said.

“Next thing you know, they got a call that they were in the top 20 in the whole nation.”

Richard Lorentzen said another grandchild, Kenny Lorentzen, is a trumpet player at Peninsula College and getting better by the day.

“It is in their blood,” he said of the musical family.

He said he hopes the show can be a breakthrough for John, who has dreamed of a contract for his own music.

John now works as the musical director for Reed High School in Sparks.

“He is so good at it,” Richard said.

“He directs those kids like nothing else.”

John graduated from Port Angeles High School in 1978.

He had studied music under Thelma McCoy.

“She is amazing,” Richard said.

“She has taught many rising stars.

“She’s a Juilliard graduate herself.”

Richard credits McCoy with giving John a head start on music before he went on to teach music himself.

While in high school, Richard said John had made a name for himself through his music.

“One time, he and a group filled up the Little Theater at Peninsula College,” Richard said.

“They had people sitting in the aisles.

“They told me — because I was the building superintendent for the college at the time — that they couldn’t do that, but I told them that I wasn’t going to make people leave.

“I’m a proud dad and grandpa now.”

The Early Show airs locally at 7 a.m. each weekday on KIRO channel 7. One finalist will be announced each day of the week through Monday and then finalists will begin live shows.

To view the Lorentzens’ tryout video for the show visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= SA2F0AdZBXM.

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Reporter Paige Dickerson can be reached at 360-417-3535 or at [email protected]

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