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A Sneak Peek into Singing Competitions

Updated on December 9, 2013
Competitors and Judges at Curtain Call Competition
Competitors and Judges at Curtain Call Competition

Local Government supporting the Arts

The competition is run by Kingston Arts, a division of local council - City of Kingston, Victoria (Australia).

I want to congratulate Kingston Arts for providing upcoming singers with the opportunity to perform in a theatre space in front of a live audience. The competition heats and final were held in the “Black Box Theatre,” a wonderful space that provides aged ambience and quality acoustics.

Inside a local singing competition

Competition Format

Emerging musicians of all styles and abilities are welcome to register. There are 5 heats in total, two of which are “open” category, and the others; contemporary, cabaret/jazz and original.

Opportunity for Real Feedback

After judging four of the five heats, I was thrilled to see the finalists strutting their stuff, all of them clearly more stage savvy and confident from the competition experience. Receiving constructive feedback is a rarity when you start a music career. Family and friends will encourage you with praise, peers may respond competitively, but a competition like this, adjudicated by industry professionals who donate their time and care about the local Arts scene, provide useful and thoughtful critique.

Varied Genre and Styles

Each one of the five finalists specialized in a different genre. With a jazz, blues, folk, pop and classical performance, the judges made it very difficult for themselves, having decided on such varied performances for the final.

It is wonderful to think that a local council competition can attract performers from various ages (17 to 55+), backgrounds and musical influences.

Curtain Call is run by Kingston Artis
Curtain Call is run by Kingston Artis

Finalist 1 - Steven Reinhardt

After Steven’s first performance on piano at age 5, he has fostered his love for performing. His background is in concert bands and musicals, but Steven is now focused on writing original composition in collaboration.

Steven performed as lead vocalist in the 2012 Victorian State School Spectacular, and is currently the lead singer of “Electric War Babies,” a band formed from Sandringham College.

Success isn’t measured in sales and money for Steven, it’s about the satisfaction and happiness he receives when people listen to and love his music.

Finalist 2 - Joshua Batten

Joshua prepared for this competition under the pressure of the VCE examination period.

Performing in school musicals since the age of 8, Joshua first heard the Beatles at age 9, was given an acoustic guitar, and hasn’t looked back. These days Joshua is influenced by everything from British Blues Rock to American Hard Rock.

Joshua wrote his first original song “Hello Black Sheep” four years ago, and has pushed himself to focus on writing and performing original material.

Finalist 3 - Debra Woodroffe

Brought up in a musical family, Debra has been singing since she was a child.

Attending workshops with pianist Bob Sedergreen, Debra discovered her love of jazz. She went on to vocal coaching with celebrated Jazz singer Bridgitte Allen, and intends to further her musical study in 2014.

Program for Curtain Call
Program for Curtain Call

Finalist 4 - Rob Dawson

Rob grew up in the City of Kingston area, his family running a local business in Moorabbin for over 60 years.

Music has been a casual passion for Rob, his comical ditties often written to embarrass friends and family members.

Rob is looking forward to bringing his original songs to a wider audience

Finalist 5 - Tayla Currie

At 17 years of age Tayla has already performed in numerous amateur theatre musicals, and currently attends singing lessons with Greg Mills.

Tayla entered the competition to further her performance experience. She is very appreciative of her Father for his continued support.

Winner and Prize

Joshua Batten won the Curtain Call Final, and the judges decision was unanimous. Joshua won a performance at venue The Chandelier Room, together with a live recording of the performance, supplied by Studio Seventeen.

Kingston Arts
Kingston Arts

Council Staff and Volunteers

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Christine Powell, Marisa Cesario, volunteer - Zandra, and the other wonderful Kingston City Council Staff. The competition was well organized and attended, and the staff and volunteers were professional and focused on making the events special for both contestants and audience.

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