For the past three years, Calvert Library and Garrett Music Academy (GMA) have teamed up to produce Calvert’s Next Idol, a competition for the talented youth of our county. Some very talented vocalists have taken the mic and wowed the judges. GMA awards one winner in each age category a free demo recording in a state of the art recording studio. There will be three categories: ages 9-11, ages 12-14, and ages 15-17. The audition date is Friday, June 22 at 6:00pm at Calvert Library Prince Frederick. Registration can be done online through the library website (calvert.lib.md.us) or by requesting a printed application. If you are using a CD, please bring the music you will be singing. Make sure that the original artist’s vocals are not present on the recording by getting the karaoke track for the song you will be singing. You will sing the shorter of up to one minute of the song or the first verse through the first chorus. Background harmonies may remain in the song. Several competitors will be selected that evening to continue to the Final Competition the next night, Saturday, June 23 at 6:00pm at the Calvert Library Prince Frederick. Doors open at 5:30pm each night and the public are welcome to attend. Seats fill quickly.
Contestants must be Calvert County residents and previous first-place winners are not eligible to compete. Participants’ parents/legal guardians will be asked to sign a media release consent form at registration so a parent must attend with their child or sign a form prior to the event. Winners are selected based on a variety of criteria that span the quality of the live performance, technique, pitch, rhythm and intonation, and entertainment value. The judges will comment on the performance and may interact with the contestant by asking questions and making comments. After the last contestant of each age group has auditioned, the judges will go into a closed-door session to decide those winners that will go on to Finals. They will re-emerge that night with the list of finalists. For Finals, contestants will sing up to two minutes and be judged using the same criteria as the first night. Finalists do not have to use the same song but may do so. Decisions of the judges are final.
This year the judges for the first round are Charles Harris, Tom Dahrens and Jen Armstrong. Nashville producer Tom Dahrens is also a music writer and has produced dozens of artists in Nashville and worked in the area’s most prestigious studios. Music videographer, Charles Harris from Southern Maryland has worked with many nationally known rap artists such as P. Diddy and Lil’ Kim. Jen Armstrong, singer and pianist, rounds out the panel. She has been the choir director at Jesus the Good Shepherd and was selected to perform for the Papal Mass in Washington DC. For more information, call the Calvert Library Prince Frederick at 410-535-0291 or 301-855-1862 or check the website at calvert.lib.md.us.