is under way for
potential stars in Carroll County, Ky
Madison get into 'the act'
Helen E. McKinney
(April 2010) Tanisha House entered the Oldham
Icon talent contest on the suggestion of a co-worker. She was surprised
when she won, having not competed in such shows for several years.
courtesy of Tori Favier
House of Louisville was
chosen as the 2010 Oldham Icon at
the Showcase Oldham County in March.
An employee of Citizens Union Bank in La Grange, Ky.,
House had pursued a professional career in signing for nine years before
deciding I wanted a family, she said. House, 29, currently
lives in St. Matthews but is originally from Pennsylvania.
Her original song, Heavenly, was enough to impress the judges
and her fans, declaring her the winner of the Oldham Icon talent contest
on March 13. The contest was sponsored by the Oldham County Chamber
of Commerce. The talent contest was part of this years Showcase
In the past, House has written and co-written songs with others. She
co-wrote and composed the music to Heavenly.
Our 2010 Icon contestants were amazing, ranging in age from 14
to 50- and over, and covering a wide variety of musical genres,
said Tori Favier, office manager for the Oldham Chamber & Economic
Development. The show offered something for everyone. Showcase
Oldham County celebrates local businesses, services and community organizations.
There is no better place to honor our local talent as well.
Such talent competitions are on the rise, gaining popularity everywhere
and in every community. House said, A lot of people enjoy signing
and music, and the thrill of being in a competition. They also like
to hear what others have to say about their talent.
Carroll County is no exception. Chamber officials there are gearing
up for the Carroll Countys Got Talent contest. On
the last Wednesday of every month through July, auditions will be held
at the Carroll County Public Library. The overall winner will be selected
at the Carroll County Chamber of Commerces Annual Awards Banquet
on Aug. 19.
Last year, in lieu of hiring a speaker, the Chamber decided to
host the talent contest to showcase the local talent of our community,
said Bret Calhoun, resource assistant for the Carroll County Chamber
of Commerce and Community Development Corporation. After all,
that is what were all about: community involvement and community
Money raised from the banquet goes toward scholarships that are awarded
to Carroll County High School seniors. I think the reason we have
had success with this is the pride that comes with the accomplishment
of a job well done, and also the popularity of shows such as American
Idol and Americas Got Talent, said Calhoun.
The economy was also a factor and forced the chamber to rethink the
way they accomplish things.
As an example, instead of paying for a national speaker to come
in, we changed the focus to local talent, said Mark Smith, board
president for the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.
In the end, we sold more tickets to the event (we believe because
of the local flavor), and were able to reduce expenses of the banquet,
said Smith. It really turned out to be a win-win situation for
the community and the chamber.
Calhoun has received several phone calls from individuals interested
in trying out for this years contest, and has contacted local
schools to spread the word. He is hopeful several individuals will apply
before the end of April.
Judges for the contest are usually people from the community, local
politicians and members of Civic Groups or clubs. Contestants
are judged on performance, poise, confidence, enthusiasm, costume-outfit
and overall effectiveness of the performance, Calhoun said.
Talent shows appeal to a wide demographic and are a great way
for ordinary people to share their extraordinary abilities, said
Favier. Friendly competition is always fun to watch.
The Oldham Icon talent contest was considered a success. We are
always working toward new ways to enhance our annual Showcase event
to benefit our business exhibitors and the public. The Oldham Icon contest
was an added draw for the community, Favier said.
It also provided a great opportunity for the Showcase exhibitors and
sponsors, in addition to exposing outstanding local vocal talent, she
said. There were 27 contestants who auditioned, and nineteen finalists
at the showcase. They put on a wonderful show, said Favier.
Madison, Ind., had its own Madisons Got Talent, which
was part of last years Madison Bicentennial Celebration. It
was very successful, said Jan Vetrhus, chairwoman of the Madison
Bicentennial. The winner received a trophy and $250.
There were some amazing talents, she said, and many were surprised to
find that their friends and neighbors were capable of such talent. The
winner and runner-up performed prior to Rusty Bladens headlining
concert at the Laser Light Firework Show on June 13.
Anyone could sign up for the contest, said Vetrhus. It
was a nice way to see if a wider audience appreciated you as much as
your fans and friends.
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