'Idol' Tradition Continues at 'Boro

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, February 10th, 2016 at 10:32 PM

Do you watch “American Idol,” consider yourself a talented singer, or someone with your own signature style of singing? Well, if you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you may be interested in competing in Edinboro Idol.

For this story, I caught up with Caleb Richardson, the main organizer of this year’s Edinboro Idol competition.

The History

Edinboro Idol has been around for almost 5 years, being somewhat of a tradition for musical students. Although this is Richardson’s first year as one of its main organizers, he competed in last year’s competition, which was organized by Ray Marks Youngblood, who is a graduate coordinator in one of the Highlands.

As Richardson has been going about the organizing of this year’s competition, Youngblood has proven to be a fit mentor.

“Ray told me last year that he wanted me to continue the so-called tradition of Edinboro Idol,” Richardson said. “I still call him with questions, saying, ‘how do I do this?’ or ‘what do I do about that’.”

Youngblood has been particularly helpful to Richardson when it has come to things like raising the money for the prize (a gold iPad), making requests to use campus space for the event, and more. According to Richardson, Youngblood has played a crucial role in organizing this year’s competition as well.

The Competition

According to Richardson, six people came to the first audition Tuesday.

“That wasn’t bad, but I am expecting a lot more people to come and audition on future audition dates,” he said.

The last two audition dates are coming up on Feb. 8 and Feb. 10. There will be three judges for this event, two of whom participated in last year’s competition. Richardson said that because of their experience with this event, he is glad to have these two individuals on board as judges.

The third judge, Charlie Bunche, participated in singing competitions when he was younger and has created an on-campus singing group called, “Boro Soul,” based on the movie, “Pitch Perfect.”

“If Bunche created singing groups on campus, why not talk to him,” Richardson said.

Richardson explained that besides singing, contestants will be judged on whether they “look happy to be there” and their ability to interact with the audience.

In other words, “you should not just stand still in one place and sing,” Richardson said.

The goal is to have 16 competitors with various themes being presented on different days of the event. Throughout the audition process, the judges have been making note of those they believe have what it takes to move on.

At the end of this process, those who make it will receive an email, informing them they have been chosen, as well as directions on what comes next.

Promoting efforts began at the end of last semester and have been going strong ever since. To support the event, the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) is hosting a raffle. In addition to this, Edinboro Idol is being broadcasted live on Edinboro Television (ETV) and at edinboronow.com.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the unique challenge of all of this planning, Richardson is working on organizing an Edinboro’s Got Talent event for next year that will be similar to Edinboro Idol.

He stated that the key difference between the in-progress Edinboro’s Got Talent and Edinboro Idol is that in Got Talent there will be a wide range of talent that can be demonstrated, not exclusively singing. Such talents may include magic tricks and dancing.

Richardson explained that he tried to stay very true to the format of the actual TV shows these events are based on.

Richardson hopes Edinboro Idol will inspire people on campus to want to sing, dance, and generally show their talents to the diverse campus community that is Edinboro University.

Even if you are not the type of person who wants to try out, the finals for this event, which promises to be an enjoyable night out, will be held on Feb. 15 at 8 p.m. in the Multipurpose Room A of Pogue Student Center.

Patrick Dewey is a Contributing Writer for The Spectator.

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