The bands at Rising Thunder — the eight squaring off in the Battle of the Bands — will certainly rock the stage on Sunday at Hastings Ranch.

But the closing act’s thunder is already on the rise.

Alyssa Raghu, a local product and already a star of stage and your TV screen, will close out the all-day music with a set of breathtaking vocals. And even if she sings into the night, that’s okay — we’ll have turned the clocks forward earlier that morning and get an extra hour of daylight.

Raghu, 17, is a local talent, one of Orlando’s own and a student at Lake Nona High School. She proudly sung the National Anthem at the Feb. 1 Orlando Magic game, but her talents have taken her way beyond Orlando, to places like New York City and Hollywood — which you already know if you’re an American Idol fan.

Raghu has appeared on both seasons of American Idol since it landed on ABC, reaching the semifinal (top 24) in Season 1 and the finals (Top 8) in Season 2, the first singer in American Idol history to become a semifinalist twice in two separate years.

She’s parlayed that fame into more singing opportunities. A new single, “New and Improved” hit streaming sites everywhere earlier this year. It’s a powerful reminder that, when you compare yourself to other people, in the end you always have to believe in yourself before anyone else does.

These days, she said she “doesn’t classify myself as a singer,” but rather a singer-slash-actress now. She became involved in acting and theater at Lake Nona High, and while she plans to continue producing music, she said she hopes to transition into acting in Hollywood.

“All of these things would not have happened if not for Idol and showcasing and being able to get my head above the water,” Raghu told

So be sure to catch Alyssa Raghu and all of the Battle of the Bands contestants at Rising Thunder on Sunday starting at 11 a.m. at Hastings Ranch. Get your tickets for $10 online (and make your votes for Battle of the Bands for $1 apiece) or $15 at the gate.