Citadel Announces 2019 Rising Star Contest Winners

citadel rising star

Three Local Artists to Perform at Citadel Country Spirit USA

EXTON, Pa., August 15, 2019 — Citadel has announced the winners of the Citadel Rising Star Contest. Three local artists, who competed in Citadel Rising Star LIVE — a ‘battle of the bands’ style event — will perform on the Citadel Rising Star stage at Citadel Country Spirit USA August 23-25.

The three winners are:

  • Garrett Shultz of York
  • Jackie Verna of West Chester
  • Aubrey Rey of Collegeville

The three winners will perform at Citadel Country Spirit USA on August 23, 24, and 25. Each artist will perform two sets on the Citadel Rising Star Stage between the main acts on the GMC Sierra Stage. One winner will perform on Friday, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday.

Garrett Shultz, the Rising Star performer for Friday, August 23, is a Central Pennsylvania native who recently hit the singer/songwriter circuit, making waves with his first solo "Kiss About It" which premiered in 2017. Garret draws inspiration from life experiences of his own and through the eyes of other people in his life. Prior to music, Garrett spent 6 years in the military serving in the Army and Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He also owned and operated a fitness center which focused on at risk youth building self-esteem and character through physical activity group classes, earned a degree in Biochemistry at Millersville University. He continues to release original music and perform across the country.

Jackie Verna, who will perform Saturday August 24, is a country artist from West Chester, Pa. who now lives out of Nashville, Tenn. New to the performing scene, she got her first big break on season 14 of NBC’s “The Voice” where she was on Team Adam. Jackie climbed her way to a top 10 finalist on the show with her performances, landing spots on iTunes country charts. She draws influence from the likes of Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Dolly Parton and the Dixie Chicks. Jackie released her first self-penned single “Forever Soulmate” in December 2018 and is now working on her first EP. A former Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) patient, Jackie also frequently performs for patients at CHOP.

Aubrey Rey, Sunday’s Rising Star headliner, is a singer/songwriter from Collegeville. She started singing at age six and wrote her first song when she was just 14 years old. As a teenager, Aubrey started a teen cover band (What's Next) with other talented musicians from her school. Around this time she also joined another local cover band (The Floats) as lead singer. When she was 18, Aubrey auditioned for American Idol, which took her to Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, New York City, and ultimately Hollywood where she made it to the second round of Hollywood Week (Top 75).

Citadel Country Spirit USA, being held at Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds in Chester County’s Brandywine Valley, features more than 20 country music artists on two stages. The three-day country music festival features headliners Billy Currington, Little Big Town and Old Dominion.

Citadel Country Spirit USA comes to Chester County from the producer of Country Summer, Northern California’s biggest country music festival. Hosted by the Chester County Conference and Visitors Bureau (CVB), thousands of fans from across the nation are projected to attend.

The GMC Sierra Main Stage lineup and schedule is available at

Single-day tickets, priced from $89, and Three-Day Passes, starting from $249, are on sale now at A portion of ticket sales will be donated to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

For more information about the Citadel Rising Star Local Band Contest, visit

Abigail Brooks
(610) 466-6896 

About Citadel Credit Union

Citadel Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned financial institution that provides banking, investments, and insurance services to more than 260,000 members. At $5.9 billion in assets, it is one of the Greater Philadelphia area’s largest credit unions, proudly serving residents of Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. Citadel is recognized as a Forbes 2022 Best-in-State Credit Union, a 2023 Faces of Philanthropy Award recipient from the Philadelphia Business Journal, and a certified 2023 Great Place to Work. For more information, visit

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