Now’s your chance; join first-ever Brandon Idol contest

BRANDON — Brandon-area residents are encouraged to step up to the microphone and wow the crowd with their dulcet tones for a chance to win $1,000 as the first annual Brandon Idol singing competition gets underway at the start of the new year. Until then, the Brandon Recreation Department is expecting dozens, if not up to a 100 (wouldn’t that be grand), of contestants to get ready for the big audition.
On Jan. 12, 2019, seven finalists will be chosen from all those who willing to strut their stuff on the stage. Those seven will then be challenged to perform each month for the following six months culminating at the finals during the town carnival in June for the $1,000 in cash.
But it won’t be the same old song each time. Each month, the seven finalists will be given a genre ranging from Broadway, rock and roll, country, and rhythm and blues to sing at a Brandon Idol event held at the Town Hall. At the finals during the town carnival in June, the contestants will again chose their favorite song to perform. In addition to the cash prize, the winner will also be the opening act for the music festival at the carnival.
Event coordinator Colleen Wright says the contestants will only be judged on their first and last performance and the different genres will help the competitors keep from getting stuck in one genre and help them step outside their comfort zone to become better singers.
“This competition is only going to make singers better,” Wright said. “Worst case scenario, you’ll be the best karaoke singer you know.”
This is the first time the town is holding the Brandon Idol competition, but the Brandon Town Hall has a long tradition of nurturing talented musicians.
In November, the Friends of Brandon Town Hall held an opera competition and they regularly hold concerts there each month. Wright says that it is a natural extension of the wonderful music programs that are going on at the Neshobe Elementary School and Otter Valley Union High School, and she hopes the competition will bring entertainment to residents of Brandon through the long winter and into spring.
Contestants do not need to be Brandon residents, but they do need to be at least 16 years old. The judges, who will remain secret until the event starts, will be looking for talent, the ability to stay in key, how well the contestant works the audience and overall performance. Any of the finalists who miss a scheduled event will be out of the competition. Competitors are responsible for their costumes, but the Brandon Recreation Department will supply the sound system, microphone, and, of course, the stage.
“I think it’s going to be a tremendous turnout,” Wright said. “The more music we can bring to town the better we’ll all be.”

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