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More than 60 audition for Washington County Teen Idol

February 16, 2012|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • Harley Harrison, 18, of Hagerstown and a student at Washington County Technical High School, auditions for Washington County Teen Idol 2012, Thursday at the Valley Mall. Twenty teens will be chosen from the auditions and the winner of Teen Idol 2012 receives a $1,000 grand prize.
By Colleen McGrath, Staff Photographer

More than 30 performers took the stage Thursday night inside the Valley Mall during the second day of auditions to find the next Washington County Teen Idol.

Organizer Lisa Key of the Washington County Free Library said 32 vocalists signed up during the first day of tryouts at Port City Java in the Long Meadow Shopping Center, bringing the two-day total over 60 participants for the event, now in its sixth year.

“I’m always amazed at the level of talent,” Key said. “It goes up every year.”

The top 20 performers, who are between the ages of 15 and 19, will advance to the finals on March 24 at the Maryland Theatre, with $1,000 going to the winner and $500 for the runner-up, Key said.

Singers were judged on their vocal ability, stage presence and overall performance, Key said.

Key said she was surprised at the song choices of many of the performers, noting that many went with “old school” tunes.

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“It takes a lot of character and courage to get up there and be vulnerable, put yourself out there,” she said. “So they’re all winners in my book.”

Ryan Baker, 18, of Clear Spring, took part in the event last year and made it through to the final round after auditioning online. Accompanied by his guitar, he said he would be performing “Superman” by Five for Fighting.

“There’s a lot of people just here for fun, but there are some people who are serious about what they’re doing, and they’re really good at their passion,” said Baker, a student at Washington County Technical High School.

Another performer who made it to the finals last year, 19-year-old Genevieve Moore of Smithsburg, was getting ready to sing “Someone Like You” by Adele.

A student at Hagerstown Community College, Moore, who also plays guitar, said she’s been writing her own music since about the fifth grade.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Moore said. “It gives us the opportunity to meet with other kids that have the same interests as we do.”

Kylie Stoup, 16, of Smithsburg, was a first-timer to the Teen Idol stage. She said she wanted to participate last year, but wasn’t old enough.

“I’m nervous, but excited,” the Smithsburg High student said as she waited with her guitar to perform “Lego House” by Ed Sheeran, an acoustic artist from the United Kingdom.

Key thanked the Valley Mall and Port City Java for allowing space to hold the auditions, as well as the Maryland Theatre for the finals. She also credited After Five Productions for providing video services to tape the performances.

Seated at the judge’s table, Key was asked if she has ever felt like Simon Cowell during auditions.

Smiling, she said: “I think I’m more like J-Lo. I’m the nice one.”

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