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Auditions begin today for Star of Blue Ridge

DUBLIN — The stage is built, the lights focused, and sound checks complete. All the New River Valley Fairgrounds await is the flow of talent that will start pouring in tonight as the 2008 Star of the Blue Ridge Auditions kick off at 5 p.m.
“We have worked hard to get this year’s contest on a level that it should be,” said Forrest Surber, contest creator and host. “We’ve made several changes to improve the contest, including some once in a lifetime opportunities such as being able to record with Grammy-nominated Christian rock group Decemberadio. This is an awesome opportunity because these boys have ‘made it,’ know what it takes to get there, and can share that insight with whoever wins this year.”
Surber added that “even if you’re not a fan of Christian rock, there’s no need to worry. These guys cut their teeth on the classics of rock-and-roll and other music, so diverse musical talent, in all genres, runs throughout the veins of the talented foursome.”
Another big change for the competition this year is turning over the judging to the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.
“Judy Ison, FAC director, is a champion of these kinds of things,” Surber said. “She offers the right touch of artistic class that, I think, the contestants will appreciate. I have total confidence that she and her judges will pick some good ones! We are very happy to have them on board.”
As for who Ison has selected to serve as judges during the audition process, they are three outstanding members of the community that offer different backgrounds in music and the arts.
The first judge is Melanie Ondich, who has been the FACNRV’s Center Stage School of Dance director for 15 years. With a Bachelor of Science degree in dance from Radford University and an ample amount of musical background in violin, piano, voice, and drama, she has spread her knowledge throughout the community.
The second judge, Keith Chinault, is the regional credit manager of Pulaski Furniture and has worked there for about 20 years, after earning a business management degree from New River Community College. He has been playing drums/percussion, as well as writing and singing, for more than 25 years with numerous local and regional bands. The most notable of these bands are Big Blues Beat and the Billy Crawford Band, which have recorded half a dozen CDs distributed worldwide.
The third judge for the competition is Clint Ison, who is the manager of Carter Bank in Trust in Wytheville and who has been in the banking business for more than 40 years. In both high school and Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, Ison played saxophone for a variety of bands. In addition, he is a licensed country and dance instructor.
Star of the Blue Ridge auditions will begin tonight and will continue on Thursday, June 19, Wednesday, June 25, and Thursday June 26. All auditions will occur at the NRV Fairgrounds in Dublin from 5 to 10 p.m. Contestants may register on location.
Surber added, “The earlier you register and audition, the better, as lines did form during the auditions last year.”
The contest is open to all ages, although youth performers will qualify for a different set of prizes.
Contestants will sing their song a capella for the judges and in front of the crowd. The auditions are open to the public, who are encouraged to come and watch the audition process.
To learn about the slew of prizes that the “star” of the Blue Ridge will receive or to view complete contest rules and details, visit www.nrvfair.com or call the NRV Fairgrounds office at (540) 674-1548
“I really hope that people will realize the opportunity here and take advantage of it by auditioning, Surber said. “That’s what we’re here for, so let’s find our star!”

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Auditions begin today for Star of Blue Ridge

DUBLIN — The stage is built, the lights focused, and sound checks complete. All the New River Valley Fairgrounds await is the flow of talent that will start pouring in tonight as the 2008 Star of the Blue Ridge Auditions kick off at 5 p.m.
“We have worked hard to get this year’s contest on a level that it should be,” said Forrest Surber, contest creator and host. “We’ve made several changes to improve the contest, including some once in a lifetime opportunities such as being able to record with Grammy-nominated Christian rock group Decemberadio. This is an awesome opportunity because these boys have ‘made it,’ know what it takes to get there, and can share that insight with whoever wins this year.”
Surber added that “even if you’re not a fan of Christian rock, there’s no need to worry. These guys cut their teeth on the classics of rock-and-roll and other music, so diverse musical talent, in all genres, runs throughout the veins of the talented foursome.”
Another big change for the competition this year is turning over the judging to the Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley.
“Judy Ison, FAC director, is a champion of these kinds of things,” Surber said. “She offers the right touch of artistic class that, I think, the contestants will appreciate. I have total confidence that she and her judges will pick some good ones! We are very happy to have them on board.”
As for who Ison has selected to serve as judges during the audition process, they are three outstanding members of the community that offer different backgrounds in music and the arts.
The first judge is Melanie Ondich, who has been the FACNRV’s Center Stage School of Dance director for 15 years. With a Bachelor of Science degree in dance from Radford University and an ample amount of musical background in violin, piano, voice, and drama, she has spread her knowledge throughout the community.
The second judge, Keith Chinault, is the regional credit manager of Pulaski Furniture and has worked there for about 20 years, after earning a business management degree from New River Community College. He has been playing drums/percussion, as well as writing and singing, for more than 25 years with numerous local and regional bands. The most notable of these bands are Big Blues Beat and the Billy Crawford Band, which have recorded half a dozen CDs distributed worldwide.
The third judge for the competition is Clint Ison, who is the manager of Carter Bank in Trust in Wytheville and who has been in the banking business for more than 40 years. In both high school and Eastern Kentucky University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, Ison played saxophone for a variety of bands. In addition, he is a licensed country and dance instructor.
Star of the Blue Ridge auditions will begin tonight and will continue on Thursday, June 19, Wednesday, June 25, and Thursday June 26. All auditions will occur at the NRV Fairgrounds in Dublin from 5 to 10 p.m. Contestants may register on location.
Surber added, “The earlier you register and audition, the better, as lines did form during the auditions last year.”
The contest is open to all ages, although youth performers will qualify for a different set of prizes.
Contestants will sing their song a capella for the judges and in front of the crowd. The auditions are open to the public, who are encouraged to come and watch the audition process.
To learn about the slew of prizes that the “star” of the Blue Ridge will receive or to view complete contest rules and details, visit www.nrvfair.com or call the NRV Fairgrounds office at (540) 674-1548
“I really hope that people will realize the opportunity here and take advantage of it by auditioning, Surber said. “That’s what we’re here for, so let’s find our star!”

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