iBerkshires.com Columnist SectionSue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush
Berkshire Idol On-Line Voting Tops 4,000 Ballots, Donations Now Top $15,000By Susan Bush
01:09PM / Wednesday, April 11, 2007
North Adams - As the final two weeks of on-line Berkshire Idol voting gets underway, balloting has already occurred at a fast and furious pace. As of noontime today, 4,171 votes had been entered for a 16-finalist, two category contestant field, according to Becky Cellana, a Berkshire Idol fundraiser committee member and office manager of Boxcar Media.com.
|Marissa Morehouse of North Adams is a Berkshire Idol finalist.|
Boxcar Media is the parent company of iberkshires.com, the entity hosting the Berkshire Idol web site, contestant videos and voting pages.
On-Line Voting "Awesome"
Committee members Susan Daugherty and Liz Boland said that there is tremendous excitement growing as the final event draws nearer.
Abby Andrews of Shaftsbury, Vt. is a Berkshire Idol finalist.
"The on-line voting is going awesome," said Daugherty during a telephone interview. "It's been great. We really feel like the community is getting involved and that people are going to the site to see their friends and to vote. iberkshires has been great, on top of everything. Staci Abuisi [iberkshires.com Berkshire Idol web site coordinator] has been great with everything. The community has been great. We are very happy with the way things are going, and what we were able to do as a committee of five. We know that we'll be keeping the on-line voting for next year."
On-line voting concludes on April 25. On April 28, eight finalists entered in an age 9 to 15 year old category and eight finalists included in an adult category will belt out vocal performances for a live audience and a panel of judges.
Vocalists From Three States To Compete
The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Drury High School and any tickets not sold through advance sales will be offered at $15 per ticket. Advance tickets for the Berkshire Idol talent showdown are available at Simmons Furniture in Adams, Moulton's General Store in North Adams, Tailored Events in Pittsfield and the Mountain Goat in Williamstown.
Finalists were chosen during semi-final events held in North Adams and Pittsfield. The event contestants represent the Berkshire region and Vermont and New York. Youth finalists come from Lee, Washington, Pittsfield, Adams, Williamstown, North Adams, Altamont, N.Y. and Shaftsbury, Vt. while adult vocalists hail from Hinsdale, Florida, Westfield, North Adams, Pittsfield and Williamstown.
Four Berkshire-based non-profit agencies will benefit from the revenues that are raised. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The Elizabeth Freeman Center, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition and the Berkshire Food Project will each share in the funds.
As of noontime today, the fundraiser had generated donations totaling $15,870.
Mary Alice Wieland of Pittsfield is a Berkshire Idol finalist.
"We're all getting very excited, I know that," said Boland, and added that the donations will provide needed revenues to the four targeted agencies, which in turn will benefit the populations served.
NBCTC To Televise Semi-Final, Final Rounds
The Northern Berkshire Community Television public access studio will broadcast the youth semi-final round on Channel 15 on April 13 at 5 p.m. and April 15 at noon. The adult semi-final event will be broadcast on April 14 at 6 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m.. A finalist segment will be broadcast on Channel 15 on April 21 at 6 p.m. and again on April 22 at 2 p.m..
Internet Ballots Counted Toward Contestant Scores
Internet votes will carry a 12.5 percent value toward contestant final scores, and a grand finale audience applause meter that measures decibels will offer a 12.5 percent value to the final score, said committee member Joelle Brookner. Between the on-line voting and the "applause meter," public input will generate a total of 25 percent to the final outcome.
Anthony Bellmon, who is living in Williamstown, is a Berkshire Idol finalist.
Judges And Prizes
Judges Roger Rees, a well-known actor who is the artistic director of the Williamstown Theater Festival, country music singer/songwriter Michael Joseph, and John Souchack, a 20-year veteran of the music industry who is currently with TVT Records and formerly of Hollywood Records, Polygram, and BMG, will make a final determination of winners with a tally that counts as 75 percent of the contestant score.
Prizes for Berkshire Idol winners include: First Prize, 16 - adult category, $1000 cash, a four hour session at Skyboro Sound toward the production of a demo CD and pre-production and songwriting with Robby Baker. First prize for the 8-15 category is the same except that a $1000 U.S. Savings Bond is awarded instead of cash.
Rosemary Blessing of Florida is a Berkshire Idol finalist.
Second prize for both categories is a four hour session at Skyboro Sound with Robby Baker. First and second prize winners may be invited to perform at other venues following the grand finale.
Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or at 413-663-3384 ext. 29.
|Why not show the final performances? Not just the semi-finals.|
|from: Grama||on: 05-02 00:00:00-2007|
|Great accomplishment by all involved. Keep up the good work and the vocal chords healthy!|
|from: Shawn Godfrey||on: 04-12 00:00:00-2007|
|The generosity of Berkshires people is always wonderful. The agencies getting the money must be thrilled. |
|from: Nana||on: 04-11 00:00:00-2007|
|Over 4,000 online votes is really impressive. I have watched a few of the videos and the singers are talented! Right here in the Berkshires, who knew?|
|from: Kip||on: 04-11 00:00:00-2007|