20 area teens to vie for teen idol title

May 03, 2007|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

Simon, Paula and Randy, look no further. The next "American Idol" might be found here in Hagerstown.

And we're not talking about Taylor Hicks, the "Idol"-winner booked for a July show at The Maryland Theatre.

Idol wannabes will compete at the Washington County Teen Idol contest this Saturday at The Maryland Theatre. The winner will receive a free trip to New York to audition for the real "American Idol."

Could the next "American Idol" really be among the 20 Tri-State-area teens who entered? Well, organizers aren't placing any bets, but they do hope the event will lure younger people to the library.

"We want to get that demographic back into the library," said Lisa Key, the library's circulation manager and teen activities coordinator.


The library is co-hosting the contest with The Maryland Theatre. Key said the library hopes to attract teens to the library by associating itself with potentially fun events, such as the Idol contest.

"We have already had several open-mic nights at the library," Key said. "So instead of doing another open mic, why not do an Idol contest?"

Travis Ware, 15, of Williamsport, said he was the one who thought of the idea.

Ware and his brother, Keith, 17, are on the library's teen advisory committee, which helps plan activities for teens.

"I sing and there's not many talent shows around that are open to the public," said Travis, a sophomore at Williamsport High School.

The 20 performers will have a chance to perform one song. Then a panel of judges will cut the pool down to six. The finalists will perform a second song, from which the judges will pick a winner, Key said.

In addition to receiving the all-expense-paid trip to New York, the winner also will sing and make appearances at local events, Key said.

Marquis Clever, 16, of Sharpsburg, said she was excited when she learned about the contest and had picked out her song, "At Last" by Etta James, in February.

"I try to find ways to perform all the time ... this could be my opportunity," said Marquis, a junior at Williamsport.

Stacy Ingraham, 18, of Fairplay, said that if she won, she would definitely be nervous about auditioning in front of "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell on national television.

"But it's worth all the nerves," said Ingraham, a first-year student at Hagerstown Community College. "I love (the show), so it's all worth it."

If you go ...

WHAT: Washington County Teen Idol, hosted by Washington County Free Library and The Maryland Theatre

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 5

WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown

COST: $10

MORE: For tickets, call 301-790-2000.

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