La PORTE — Auditions for the 2019 Hoosier Star Vocal Competition are set to begin this weekend. The “American Idol” style competition is marking its 14th year in La Porte County.
With up to a $1,000 cash prize up for grabs and an opportunity to solo with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra in September, the competition is fierce.
Hoosier Star coordinators are urging local talent to schedule an audition time for either March 16 or 17 to be able to showcase their talent to the judges. Auditions are open to not only La Porte County, but extends to all of Indiana and Southwest Michigan.
“There is no other competition like this around here,” said Hoosier Star Chair, Cherri Blair-Drayton.
The auditions will be held in the La Porte Little Theatre from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 17.
For the preliminary auditions this weekend, competitors must bring their own musical accompaniment, or perform a cappella. The Hoosier Star also welcomes duet competitors. These auditions will give local vocal talent the chance to advance to the final competition.
Winners will be determined during the final competition in September at the La Porte Civic Auditorium. The competition will be split into two categories. The adult category winner will take home a $1,000 cash prize. There will also be a $500 cash prize for the top youth competitor in the Hoosier Star. This category is open to anyone age 17 and below. Both winners will get the opportunity to solo with the La Porte County Symphony Orchestra in the fall.
“The real prize is performing with the orchestra,” said Blair-Drayton. “Opportunities like that are priceless.”
Tim King, LCSO Interim Executive Director attested to the value of this opportunity.
“Tthat evening in September is incredible," King said. "I do justice to how unbelievable it is to watch all of these people sing, for the first time, with a symphony orchestra. Having done it many times myself, I can tell you, it is an incredible experience.”
The LCSO will be hosting Grammy nominated conductor and South Bend Symphony Orchestra Music Director Alastair Willis for the final competition.
“We have, Alastair Willis, conducting the event," said King. "Last year, he conducted the orchestra and the finalists for the first time. He had such a good time that he came off of the stage and asked me if he could return this year! That tells you it was a pretty great eventing!”
The competition is expecting to host around 90 competitors. Time slots are still available by request. Those interested in applying for an audition slot should visit HoosierSTAR.com, executive@LCSO.net or call (219) 362-9020.