Georgiana Opry opens auditions for talent show

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2024

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The Georgiana Opry House announces the return of the 2nd Annual Hank Williams Sr Talent Showcase, set to take place on May 4, at 6 p.m.

Tracy Eason, owner of the venue, expressed her excitement about the upcoming event.

“This is the show’s second season, and I plan to make it an annual event,” Eason said.

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The competition aims to recognize and promote young vocal talent in the region while honoring the legacy of Hank Williams Sr, who performed with his band, The Drifting Cowboys, at the historic venue, which once operated as the GA-ANA Theater, when he was just 16 years old.

The competition is open to legal residents of the United States born between midnight, May 4, 2003, and midnight, May 4, 2008, who are between the ages of 16 and 21. Contestants will be judged based on their vocal talent, and there is a one-time non-refundable entry fee of $50.00. 

The first prize winner of the competition will receive a $2,500 cash prize as well as a studio session to cut a single with Grace Records of Nashville. Second place will win $1,200 cash and a performance at a prominent music festival of their chosen genre, while third place will receive $600 cash and a $600 music store gift certificate.

Additionally, five finalists will undergo a month-long adventure where they will learn the ropes of putting a show together, including aspects like lighting, sound, equipment, vocal coaching, and image consulting. The adventure will culminate in a special performance, preceded by a limousine ride around Georgiana.

Eason emphasized that cultivating the community aspect of the competition was the Opry’s mission.

“Last year there were several friendships forged,” Eason said. “These were kids that came in as strangers and they’ve stayed close and continue to support each other.” 

Judith Oswald, age 18, manages a TikTok and YouTube page called Anyone but Judith where she showcases her skill on the ukulele. She won third place last year and is gearing up to return to compete again. 

“I got a lot of experience last year that was priceless. I made a lot of friendships, and one of my competitors became my closest friend,” Oswald said. “I would recommend this contest to anyone who is interested in making music.”

The talent showcase boasts a distinguished panel of judges, including country music singer Leon Everette, who is returning for his second year. Everette, who has 11 top-ten records, said he is excited to be invited back.

“Tracy and the people at the Opry are doing a fantastic job bringing back a piece of history, Everette said. “I’ve been all over the world, but this place is awesome. This is where Hank stood. PLast year they had some really fine contestants, so I’m looking forward to it.”

For more information about the competition or to inquire about applications and ticketing, interested individuals can contact The Georgiana Opry House at 251-583-2925 or stay updated by following their website and social media pages.