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Breakout star on ‘The Voice’ hails from West Chester

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STORY BY BRIAN BINGAMAN 
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

One of the latest darlings of Season 10 of “The Voice” is from West Chester.
You may have seen her play at The Note.
Eighteen-year-old Gina Castanzo was selected by country superstar Blake Shelton to be on his team, based on a blind-audition live performance of Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness’ hit “Cecilia and the Satellite.” A full recording of her version is available on iTunes.
Shelton, in his exuberance, proclaimed during the show that he and the local indie singer/songwriter were “the oddest couple in the history of ‘The Voice’.”  The Voice” airs on NBC Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m.

Gina Castanzo got picked by Blake Shelton on The Voice. Submitted photo

Gina Castanzo got picked by Blake Shelton on The Voice.
Submitted photo

In a phone interview, Castanzo was still bewildered that she was selected for Team Blake. “I’m not at all a country singer,” she said, confessing that she thought Adam Levine or Pharrell Williams would be the most likely to turn their chairs and express their interest. However, the 2015 Bishop Shanahan grad is excited to prove that she belongs on Team Blake. “The team looks amazing. We all have something to bring,” she said.
“After (the episode) aired, I said to my mom: ‘My phone is blowing up. I can’t take this right now’,” Castanzo laughed.
Feeling that the editors of “The Voice” short-changed her on the telling her back story, she took to @gina_castanzo on Twitter to pay tribute to her grandfather, who bought her first guitar and introduced her to the music of Fleetwood Mac and Norah Jones. “My goal in music is to always make people feel something, to make people feel that they have a place in the world,” she wrote in an iPhone note that she tweeted. “My music took me to Vatican City, where I sang at Mass, and it took me to Disney World with my (high school) jazz band. I have been a performer all my life from dancing and musical theater.”
Castanzo transferred from public school to Bishop Shanahan when she was in 10th-grade because, she said, there were more opportunities to develop her music and musical theater talents. “That school really showed me what I was meant to do,” she commented.
Speaking of education, Castanzo was accepted by James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., but since making a commitment to “The Voice,” she’s been taking community college classes instead of putting her education completely on hold.
Although she described herself as not a very good social media person, Castanzo does have a YouTube channel and Reverb Nation page. She plans to complete an EP of her original music when her time on “The Voice” is done.
“I want my music to be accessible to all generations,” she said.

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