Auditions for this year’s Country Music Highway Road to Fame competition are scheduled in the area.
Hundreds are expected to line up to try out for the American Idol-style competition, which gives one winner the opportunity to become a country music star and carry on the tradition of musical talent and success the region is known for.
Terry Trimble, executive assistant for the Big Sandy Area Development District and Road to Fame representative, said last year each venue had between 50 and 70 contestants audition and she expects more this year.
She said those who live along U.S. 23 or in a county contiguous to a county along the highway are eligible for the closed, a capella auditions.
“No one will be in there except the judges and the contestant, unless the contestant is under 18, and then a parent or guardian will be required to go in with them,” Trimble said. “I would advise hopefuls to come with their ‘A’ game and dress and perform like they want to be a country music star.”
She also said contestants should practice, practice, practice.
“These judges are professionals ,and you only get one shot to make it into the qualifying rounds,” she said.
Every contestant will be photographed; auditions will be filmed and sent to Nashville, where the top 20 from each venue will be chosen to advance to qualifying rounds in May.
“This is a fantastic program and our schools are eligible to apply for grants through the scholarship program for their music programs from the funds generated,” Trimble said.
Last year’s winner was Logan Hall from Pike County.
During April auditions, 80 contestants will be chosen to compete in one of four qualification rounds to be judged by Nashville “Music Row” executives, which will be May 3, 4, 11 and 12 at locations which will be released later.
The Ashland audition will be at 1 p.m. April 27 at Fannin Motors on U.S. 60.
Other April auditions will be:
‰April 6, 1 p.m. — Hampton Inn, 831 Hambley Boulevard, Pikeville.
‰April 7, 1 p.m. — Jenny Wiley State Park, 75 Theatre Court, Prestonsburg.
‰April 28, 1 p.m. — Ramada Inn, 624 James Trimble Boulevard, Paintsville.
The winner and the top 10 finalists will act as ambassadors representing the Country Music Highway at various events throughout the year and will help promote the 2013 Road to Fame competition.
For more information, visit cmhroadtofame.com or call (606) 886-2374. To obtain registration forms and more complete rules, visit cmhroadtofame.com.
LEE WARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2661.