Singers, get ready: It’s time to send in your audition tape for the fifth annual Durango Voice singing competition, a fundraiser for Manna soup kitchen.
Eighteen contestants will be selected from the audition tapes. After tapes are sent in, the competition, much like television’s “The Voice,” begins with blind auditions before a live audience, scheduled this year for Feb. 22 at Henry Strater Theatre. The contestants perform with the hope that one or all of the four judges will turn their chair around and choose them to receive a month of professional voice coaching and go on to the finals. Each judge will select three finalists for a total of 12, who will move forward to the finals. The finalists will compete again April 25 at Henry Strater Theatre. Three winners will be selected from the 12 contestants and they will receive gift certificates and prizes.
Vocalists of all levels – pre-professional and professional – are eligible to send in an audition tape, said Elaine Chick, the show’s producer. Singers are asked to submit their best 2-minute song. Singers can have a music-backing track or accompany themselves on an instrument, but it must be their vocals only. The submission deadline is Jan. 20.
Chick offered singers a little advice for putting together an audition tape: “Pick the song that’s suited for their vocal style,” she said. “This isn’t the time to really reach and go, ‘Oh, I’m going to try to do ‘Les Mis’ and don’t really have the voice to do it. Pick a song that’s going to show off their best in two minutes. The key is really to pick what’s really best for their vocal capability.”
Chick said what keeps her coming back to the show year after year is a combination of supporting the area’s musicians and a local nonprofit.
“Not only is Manna doing such great work and expanding what they do for our community, but for me, my background is in entertainment and music and it allows me to give back and promote our own area – it’s not just Durango; it’s open to anyone around the Four Corners. And to offer a platform and opportunity for people who’ve never had it or who are professional and need some additional support. We’ve got amazing coaches and judges who offer their time.”