The audience will once again decide the fate of up to 30 singers performing in the quarterfinals of annual Creston’s Best Singer contest on Feb. 20 at the Prince Charles Theatre.
The first 150 to arrive will receive a scorecard to rank the singers, and the top 20 will be chosen to perform in the semifinals and, potentially, the finals on March 13.
“The audience really enjoys that interactive aspect of the contest,” said producer Vern Gorham. “It’s satisfying to know that they have a hand in deciding who gets to move on.”
Gorham started the contest in Creston in 2010, and expanded to include other east and west Kootenay towns in the following years. Regional contests were held in Cranbrook in 2012 and 2013, which saw Cranbrook’s Trena Speers and Nelson’s Charlie Pears-Smith, respectively, named the winner.
The 2013-2014 season is a bit simpler, though; winners have already been chosen in Nelson, and East Kootenay and West Kootenay contests will be held in the spring. The top two from Nelson and Creston, and the top five from east and west will move on to the Kootenays’ Best Singer finals, to be held in Creston in June.
“The contests have been extremely popular,” said Gorham. “But streamlining the series makes it simpler for me to administer — plus it will allow singers to compete against others from outside their towns much sooner, which should make it more exciting for them.”
Even after four years of running the contest, Gorham isn’t tired of hearing the singers compete.
“I love music,” he said. “And it’s pretty amazing to hear so many styles from so many talented performers all in one place.”
Tickets for the Creston’s Best Singer quarterfinals are available in advance at Black Bear Books.