Contest to showcase local amateur singers and musicians

By: Leah Rosasco, Loomis News Correspondent
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An upcoming community talent contest might be a chance to be discovered and become the area’s next big star. The Loomis Basin Chamber of Commerce will host Loomis Basin Has Talent, a contest and showcase for local musical talent, beginning April 18 and ending June 14. Roy Arriaga, Chamber board member and organizer of the event, said tryout performances will be held at fourteen different venues throughout the area with a grand finale on June 29, at the Blue Goose Event Center. Prizes will be awarded and the overall winner will get a professional recording session. The event is open to amateur contestants, ages seven years and older, from throughout the greater Loomis Basin area, who would like to display their vocal or instrumental talents. According to Arriaga the types of instruments permitted will be limited to hand-held instruments due to space limitations at some of the venues, also some venues will be for ages 21 and older only. Arriaga said the talent search is a way to bring the community and local businesses together. Arriaga said he enjoys giving karaoke performances and quickly got the support of the Chamber board when he suggested they sponsor an “America’s Got Talent” type of event. “We will actually take the systems, the microphones, the lights, the cameras, the action to these venues,” Arriaga said. Arriaga, who will emcee at each event, said there will be three judges at each venue, including two members of the Chamber and one “musically-inclined” member of the community. Arriaga said the Chamber is looking for judges “who have the talent that can spot the talent.” Emily Knisley, 15, a freshman at Del Oro High School, is looking forward to competing in the event. Emily said she tries to take advantage of any opportunity she gets to perform for people. Although she is a member of the color guard at Del Oro and she performed in school talent shows and musicals when she was a student at Placer Elementary School, Emily said this is the first time she’ll be performing in a singing contest of this magnitude in her hometown. “I’m really excited about it,” she said. At each of the 14 events the three judges will select the top performers in two categories, vocals and solo musical instrument, and their performances will be downloaded onto Facebook where the community will vote to determine who goes on to compete at the grand finale. According to Arriaga, if a performer is not chosen by the judges as a “top performer,” they can re-register to perform at one of the next events at a different venue. “They will have multiple chances to make their way to the grand finale,” Arriaga said. The grand prize winners will be asked to perform at the Content Creation and Distribution Expo in Loomis in September and the Eggplant Festival in October, and will win a professional recording session and studio recording of their single from One Eleven Recording Studio and Music School in Roseville. Kevin Prince, local musician and the owner of One Eleven, will be a judge. Prince has played professionally in several local bands, including Turning Point and Automatic Static. According to Prince the event is a great opportunity for singers and instrumentalists to showcase their talent and get some firsthand experience with performing on stage. Prince also said he hopes the studio session he donates will allow a budding musician or singer get an inside look at the behind-the-scenes aspect of the music business. “I think music really brings people together, and that’s really what this is about,” Arriaga said. Loomis Basin Has Talent What: Vocal and instrument talent showcase Who: Amateur singers and hand-held instrument musicians, ages 7 and up When: 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 18, at Loomis Basin Brewery, to June 14 at various venues, with finale on June 29 Where: Multiple venues from Penryn to Rocklin Cost: $25 per entry Information: 652-7252, or