Declan Killeen Toomey began playing the violin at the age of 3.

Now, with six years of experience under his belt, the Verona native is once again competing among some of the state’s “Rising Stars.” Toomey is among 21 finalists competing Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Overture Center’s Capitol Theater in the annual Rising Stars Finals.

The competition is open to anyone age 6 or older, and began with more than 80 auditions in front of judges, with the group being trimmed to the final 21. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000, booking opportunities, a digital marketing consultation and the chance to perform during the Overture Center’s 2020-21 season.

Tickets for the Rising Stars Finals, which begins at 7:30 p.m., are available for $10 or $15 depending on the seats.

Four years ago, Toomey was chosen as the “Best Child Musician” for the Rising Stars Talent Search. Since then, he’s continued playing for other audiences, often dressed to fit the theme of the day, like when he performed Irish tunes while dressed as a leprechaun during the 2016 Madison Kids Expo.

Contact Scott Girard at and follow him on Twitter @sgirard9.