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Who will be next ‘Star of Blue Ridge?’

DUBLIN — Local crooners and songbirds, start warming up your vocal chords. It’s the return of the “Star of the Blue Ridge” contest!
In its third year, the Star of the Blue Ridge is a performance-based contest open to the general public with the goal of finding the most talented solo singer in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Throughout the contest, judges will keep their ears and eyes open for a performer who can first and foremost sing well, but can also engage with their audience, have great stage presence and exude confidence in their performances.
Along with the New River Valley Fair, the other main partner in this competition is 107.1 PSK, which is a country music radio station. However, singers of all musical genres are encouraged to audition.
While there are other similar contests in the local area this year, Forrest Surber, contest coordinator, said the Star of the Blue Ridge contest is focused on artistic value, so the prizes for the top performer fall in line with that ideal and will hopefully help the winner get on the right track to start a musical career.
Prizes for the contest winner include: promotion and name recognition surrounding winning the Star of the Blue Ridge contest, the opportunity to perform at the 2009 NRV Fair, artist consulting services from Forrest Fire Entertainment, a total recording package valued at more than $4,800 from Mountain Fever Studios (www.mountainfever.com), a professional HD music video from the people who brought you “Hokie Nation,” Horse Archer Productions (www.horsearcherproductions.com), recording a single with Grammy-nominated, GMA award winning, national touring artists Decemberadio, and a song debut on the “Scott Stevens Country Morning Show” on 107.1 PSK.
In addition, the winner will receive $500 in cash and will be given the “Key to the Fair,” allowing him or her and four guests VIP access passes to all of the NRV Fair’s events.
General auditions will begin next Wednesday, June 18, at the NRV Fairgrounds in Dublin from 5 to 10 p.m. Additional auditions will be held June 19, June 25 and June 26 (same place and time).
From each of the four general auditions, three semi-finalists will be chosen, adding up to 12 semi-finalists who will perform and be judged at the annual Fourth of July celebration held at the NRV Fairgrounds.
From the semi-finals, four finalists will be selected to compete on Saturday, July 26, at the NRV Fair, upon which the Star of the Blue Ridge winner will be chosen.
Auditions are open to all ages and backgrounds. Contestants ages 18 and up will be placed in the adult category to compete for the prizes mentioned above.
Ages 17 and under are allowed to audition, but will not be eligible for the grand prizes. However, the top scorers in this youth category will perform during the Fourth of July semi-finals in between the adult contestants. In addition, the top youth contestants will perform on Tuesday, July 21, during “Kids Day” at the NRV Fair and will receive two ride and gate passes to the fair.
Something new this year for the competition is a $10 registration fee, which will be required per audition to defray costs for contest production, prize money, etc.
Pre-registration for the auditions is available. Contestants may download registration forms from www.nrvfair.com or www.wpsk107.com, or pick up a form from the NRV Fairgrounds office in Dublin, Cumulus Studios in Fairlawn or the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley in Pulaski. Completed forms and registration fees should be dropped off or mailed to the NRV Fairgrounds’ office.
Contestants are also welcome to register at the auditions, but pre-registered contestants will be given priority.
Contestants may select any song of their choosing. The song will be sung without accompaniment. However, at the performances on July 4 and July 26, accompaniment will be allowed.
Judging criteria includes singing ability, stage presence, audience connection, song selection and overall entertainment value.
A diverse set of judges will be provided by the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.

Last year, about 200 contestants auditioned to be the next “star” of the Blue Ridge, Surber said.
“We started out not knowing how much of a good thing that this contest would be,” he said. “But we’ve had a really positive response and we hope that people will continue to support this competition.”
For more information, contact Bud Walsh, NRV Fair president, at (540) 674-1548, or Forrest Surber, contest coordinator, at (540) 818-6263.

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Who will be next ‘Star of Blue Ridge?’

DUBLIN — Local crooners and songbirds, start warming up your vocal chords. It’s the return of the “Star of the Blue Ridge” contest!
In its third year, the Star of the Blue Ridge is a performance-based contest open to the general public with the goal of finding the most talented solo singer in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Throughout the contest, judges will keep their ears and eyes open for a performer who can first and foremost sing well, but can also engage with their audience, have great stage presence and exude confidence in their performances.
Along with the New River Valley Fair, the other main partner in this competition is 107.1 PSK, which is a country music radio station. However, singers of all musical genres are encouraged to audition.
While there are other similar contests in the local area this year, Forrest Surber, contest coordinator, said the Star of the Blue Ridge contest is focused on artistic value, so the prizes for the top performer fall in line with that ideal and will hopefully help the winner get on the right track to start a musical career.
Prizes for the contest winner include: promotion and name recognition surrounding winning the Star of the Blue Ridge contest, the opportunity to perform at the 2009 NRV Fair, artist consulting services from Forrest Fire Entertainment, a total recording package valued at more than $4,800 from Mountain Fever Studios (www.mountainfever.com), a professional HD music video from the people who brought you “Hokie Nation,” Horse Archer Productions (www.horsearcherproductions.com), recording a single with Grammy-nominated, GMA award winning, national touring artists Decemberadio, and a song debut on the “Scott Stevens Country Morning Show” on 107.1 PSK.
In addition, the winner will receive $500 in cash and will be given the “Key to the Fair,” allowing him or her and four guests VIP access passes to all of the NRV Fair’s events.
General auditions will begin next Wednesday, June 18, at the NRV Fairgrounds in Dublin from 5 to 10 p.m. Additional auditions will be held June 19, June 25 and June 26 (same place and time).
From each of the four general auditions, three semi-finalists will be chosen, adding up to 12 semi-finalists who will perform and be judged at the annual Fourth of July celebration held at the NRV Fairgrounds.
From the semi-finals, four finalists will be selected to compete on Saturday, July 26, at the NRV Fair, upon which the Star of the Blue Ridge winner will be chosen.
Auditions are open to all ages and backgrounds. Contestants ages 18 and up will be placed in the adult category to compete for the prizes mentioned above.
Ages 17 and under are allowed to audition, but will not be eligible for the grand prizes. However, the top scorers in this youth category will perform during the Fourth of July semi-finals in between the adult contestants. In addition, the top youth contestants will perform on Tuesday, July 21, during “Kids Day” at the NRV Fair and will receive two ride and gate passes to the fair.
Something new this year for the competition is a $10 registration fee, which will be required per audition to defray costs for contest production, prize money, etc.
Pre-registration for the auditions is available. Contestants may download registration forms from www.nrvfair.com or www.wpsk107.com, or pick up a form from the NRV Fairgrounds office in Dublin, Cumulus Studios in Fairlawn or the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley in Pulaski. Completed forms and registration fees should be dropped off or mailed to the NRV Fairgrounds’ office.
Contestants are also welcome to register at the auditions, but pre-registered contestants will be given priority.
Contestants may select any song of their choosing. The song will be sung without accompaniment. However, at the performances on July 4 and July 26, accompaniment will be allowed.
Judging criteria includes singing ability, stage presence, audience connection, song selection and overall entertainment value.
A diverse set of judges will be provided by the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.

Last year, about 200 contestants auditioned to be the next “star” of the Blue Ridge, Surber said.
“We started out not knowing how much of a good thing that this contest would be,” he said. “But we’ve had a really positive response and we hope that people will continue to support this competition.”
For more information, contact Bud Walsh, NRV Fair president, at (540) 674-1548, or Forrest Surber, contest coordinator, at (540) 818-6263.

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