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Greenfield Idol: Not just for kids

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GREENFIELD — Although one tends to see fresh faces on stage for the annual Greenfield Idol singing competition, now in its third year, there is one thing organizer Christine Schaefer wants to make clear – the contest is open to anyone age 15 and up.

“It’s not just a teenage talent show,” she said, “It’s a community event.”

Auditions before a panel of judges will be held 3 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at co-sponsor Quality Inn, 2270 N. State St. There is a non-refundable fee of $15 to audition. Those selected for the contest will compete Saturday, Feb. 22 and March 1 at the H.J. Ricks Centre for the Arts downtown, where the audience will help select the winner. Top finishers win cash prizes.

“It’s a $300 first prize,” Schaefer said. “Gosh, for $300, I’d sing.”

But instead, she’ll be running the show, which raises money for the KidsPlay Inc. theater scholarship, awarded since 2008 to a KidsPlay or CrazyLake Acting Co. alum in his or her senior year of high school, to be used towards a college degree in any aspect of theater or other performing arts.

Schaefer has been working to get the word out about this weekend’s tryouts, alerting the Greenfield Community Choir and area churches. She notes that the first year of the contest, there were a few older participants, “but mostly it’s young people.”

Could a middle-aged talent emerge, as Susan Boyle famously did in a British contest?

“Wouldn’t that be amazing?” Schaefer said.

She said she has been asked many times what songs to sing at the audition. The only conditions are that each person prepare two songs and sing a capella.

“We want people to sing songs that fit their voice, and that they are comfortable with,” Schaefer said. “We’ve had people sing opera, or country, pop songs, gospel – and one even did a Christmas song.”

For local talents stuck by weather or confined to a college campus miles away, this year’s audition can be submitted online as well, she said. Send in the entry fee and record two songs a capella on video and upload it to YouTube, then send the link to chris@crazylake.com by Monday. Full instructions are also posted on the Greenfield Idol Facebook page.

Those who are accepted into the competition will be notified within 48 hours of auditioning. Aside from the $300 first prize, there is $200 for the runner-up and $100 for third place.

See the Facebook page for more details, or email Schaefer at chris@crazylake.com.

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