BEMUS POINT - Organizers are ready to kick off the fifth season of Chautauqua Lake Idol today at the Floating Stage in Bemus Point, eager to entertain the thousands that come out on six nights in June, July and August.
Though almost down to a science after four successful years, mounting the production is still a challenge according to Media One Group officials.
''We certainly have developed a routine after producing more than 20 shows, but we still encounter some hurdles from week to week,'' said Andrew Hill, SE93 Chautauqua Lake Idol producer. ''From making sure the band has the correct audio to practice with, coordinating the special features we may have from week to week, coordinating and approving the song choices, and keeping the show fresh and entertaining can all be challenging.''
As host of the contest, Hill shares the stage with all the performers, band members and judges, and says it is exciting for everyone to be a part of the event because it is such a popular program.
According to Hill, each of the contest's six nights are unique and interesting for those who come to watch - as each night features different themes and the contest as a whole changes as more and more singers are eliminated.
''The first weeks are exciting because everyone is discovering who the singers are, and the audience picks the person they think will win,'' Hill said. ''The middle weeks force the singers to adjust to what the judges are looking for, and they are trying to become creative and showcase their individual talents. The finals weeks are exciting because you're narrowed down to the finalists, and they need to do something to put them over the top.''
After competing in an open audition at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena, 20 singers were chosen to compete in this year's contest.
The 20 singers selected to compete in the 2008 Chautauqua Lake Idol Regional Vocal Contest are Brent Ball, of Findley Lake; Marvin Brandi, of Jamestown; Bethany Bush, of Randolph; Karen Buck, of Jamestown; Laura Carlson, of Jamestown; Brian Chase, of Jamestown; Rachel Curtin, of Fredonia; Katie Elfman, of Jamestown; Kenny Fabritius, of Sinclairville; Julie Haight, of Jamestown; Danielle Kenney, of Youngsville, Pa.; Burke Lindquist, of Derby; Jay Manaco, of Mayville; Margie Nelsen, of Mayville; Sherilynn Rossell, of Jamestown; Tammy Russell, of Falconer; Billy Thomas, of Frewsburg; Stephanie Tompkins, of Jamestown; Kristen Vandstrom, of Jamestown and Carol Westerdahl, of Jamestown.
Organized each year by WWSE 93.3 FM, Chautauqua Lake Idol is fun for first-time visitors and those who regularly attend each year, according to Hill.
''I think what we have created is a venue for families and friends to come and have a good time, regardless of if it's their first time or not,'' Hill said. ''They enjoy listening to the different interpretation of the music selections, and come so they can be involved with the water cooler conversations the next morning at the office. We try to keep things new and fresh, but also believe you should not fix something that isn't broken.
''We are honored to have become a routine for the residents and tourists who make us part of their summer,'' Hill continued. ''We field many calls during the spring from those making their vacation plans around our schedule of events. The combination of the perfect venue, the supportive audience and our sponsors has truly helped this show continue from year to year. We are excited for our fifth season.''
The 2008 Chautauqua Lake Idol Regional Vocal Competition will consist of six shows. Beginning today, the competition will be comprised of two preliminary rounds, three theme nights and a finals night. For more information about the annual event, visit www.chautauqualakeidol.com or the Media One Group studios. Questions can also be directed to WWSE 93.3 FM by calling 487-1151.
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