Seeking stardom

‘Madison’s Got Talent’ contest
to showcase area performers

Top three contenders in each
preliminary will advance to finals

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

Madison Bicentennial Logo

(February 2009) – Drew Geerts’ dream is to establish a Christian ministry using his musical talent. While that dream may be still a goal, he is actively working to fine tune his song writing and singing skills, and he loves to compete in talent contests.
Geerts will be one of a handful of contestants competing in the first preliminary “Madison’s Got Talent” contest. The show, part of the Madison Bicentennial Celebration, starts at 2 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Ohio Theater, 105 E. Main St. The three other preliminaries will take place at 7 p.m. at the Ohio Theater on March 6, April 3 and May 1.

Drew Geerts

Photo provided

Singer- songwriter
Drew Geerts is among
the first contestants competing in the
‘Madison’s Got
Talent’ contest.

Admission for the preliminary competitions is $2, but the June 12 finale will be free. The top three contestants in each of the four preliminaries will compete in June’s final show. The overall winner will perform the opening act at the June 13 Concert and Laser Light Fireworks Show, as well as earn a trophy and $250 cash prize.
“It’s going to be an awesome contest, and we are looking for all kinds of talented people to come show us what you’ve got,” said Nancy Gruner, executive director of Madison Main Street Program and the chairperson of the Madison Bicentennial 200-Hour Party.
Geerts, 29, considers his musical preference to be “truly eclectic.”
“My MP3 player has any style of music you can think of,” he said. “I have songs from contemporary Christian to barbershop quarter.” He spent seven years singing in a southern gospel trio.
For the Madison’s Got Talent show, he plans to sing “Summertime,” by George Gershwin, from the opera “Porgy and Bess.”
Geerts, who works as a Madison trash collector, has competed in several other talent contests, including Switzerland County, Ind.’s “Swiss Idol” contest. He finished as first runner-up two years in a row in that competition. “I hope I can break that streak here,” he said.
During summer 2008, Geert was one of thousands of hopefuls who tried out at the “American Idol” auditions in Louisville, Ky. “I actually thought I had a good chance,” he said. “One of the preliminary judges seemed really interested in questioning me, but in the end, I never got to the last section.”
He explained there are actually three parts of the competition, which includes a final performance in front of the nationally recognized American Idol judges Randy Jackson, Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Kara DioGuardi.
At the Madison competition, Geerts said he is simply looking to enjoy the experience and have a good time.
“Of course, it would be nice to win, but it’s also fun to meet people and build relationships during the contests.”
Geerts, who lives with his wife, Abigail, and 2-year-old son, Gabriel, hopes to eventually grow his fledgling music ministry. Already, he has put together a promotional demo of several of the Christian songs he has written, and his goal is to present it to local churches first and then branch out from there.
“As a Christian, I know there are others out there who can relate to my experiences,” he said. “It would be just awesome if I could eventually do this for a living and share the Good News of Jesus.”
In order to keep the talent show fair, three judges from outside the community will select the winners. “We do not plan to announce those judges in advance,” said Gruner. Organizers want to make sure everything stays impartial.
Kelley Hoagland has been named as emcee for the talent show. A life-long resident of Madison and Jefferson County, Hoagland is a traffic coordinator and DJ for WORX-WXGO Radio. She earned bachelor’s degrees in broadcast journalism and theater at Franklin College.

• For more information about Madison’s Got Talent, call Nancy Gruner at (812) 701-9500 or visit: www.MadisonBicentennial.com.

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