Local talents to vie for top spot in Evanston Idol contest

Karen Chen

While “American Idol” prepares for its final rounds, Evanston Community Television is holding auditions for the fourth annual Evanston Idol competition beginning Saturday.

The competition is open to all ages and talents, and will broadcast live May 21 on the ECTV website, Comcast Channel 6 and AT&T Channel 99.

“We’ve had everything from an 8-year-old singer to a 60-something-year-old flute player,” said Cindy Cort, the event’s producer. “It’s exciting every year – people come and they’re excited, and the kids are excited.”

The quirkiest talent they’ve had came from was a magician whose tricks didn’t work, Cort said.

For an entrance fee of $25, local talents get the chance to try to beat out around 12 other competitors and be crowned “Evanston Idol.”

Bragging rights aside, prizes include a DVD courtesy of ECTV, a gig at Evanston’s Custer Street Art Fair in June and Music Quest Entertainment’s assistance in creating a press kit that the public relations agency will circulate to its industry contacts. The winner will also appear in Evanston’s Fourth of July Parade.

Griffin Teller, the Evanston Township High School sophomore who took last year’s title with an original song titled “Fifteen Years,” said the competition was a worthwhile experience, though he never took advantage of the prizes.

“It was really the first time I’ve been recognized for song-writing or any musical talent, really,” Teller said. “It felt great to win.”

Paired with a silent auction, Evanston Idol is a fundraiser for ECTV, the community-run broadcast station.

“We’re trying to raise some money to keep our doors open,” Cort said. “We’re a community center. We love to get more people to join from the community, and we love the exposure to get the word out about our center.”

Cort, a Northwestern alumna, added she would love to see more NU students try out.

Meg Lowey, a Communication freshman and member of a capella group The Undertones, said that while she is too busy to audition this quarter, she is sure members of the group would love to give it a shot.

“It seems like a nice opportunity to let the kids at NU participate in Evanston activities and bring everyone together,” Lowey said.

Auditions are this Saturday, April 23 and the following Saturday, April 30 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Evanston Community Media Center, 1285 Hartrey Ave.

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