Country Crooners

Showdown offers chance
for area singers to earn fame

WIKI radio to stage qualifying
rounds in May and June

Tess Worrell
Contributing writer

(May 2012) – Last year, 15-year-old D.J. Adkins of Aurora, Ind., took the stage at the Texaco Country Showdown at the qualifying round in Madison and wowed the crowd. He won the qualifier, then the finals and advanced to the state level of this national singing competition.
No wonder. Adkins had been winning singing awards for years. A member of Opening Knight Show Choir of South Dearborn High School, which is ranked in the top 20 show choirs of the nation for its division, Adkins has won awards both for group performances and for outstanding soloist. He is also the youngest competitor to score perfect scores at the Indiana Solo and Ensemble Competitions for the last two years in foreign language solos – last year in German, this year in Italian.

D.J. Adkins

Photo provided

D.J. Adkins performs
at last year’s
Country Showdown.

But country music is his first love. “My dream is to sing in Nashville,” says Adkins. Performing in the Texaco Country Showdown was a perfect showcase for his talent, he says.
WIKI radio station in Madison will again play host to the 2012 qualifying rounds May 19 and June 16 for the 31st annual Texaco Country Showdown. Interested artists must file an application along with $20 at WIKI by May 15 and June 12, respectively. Artists compete vocally or instrumentally. Applications are also available at any of the contests sponsors. The top finishers of the qualifying rounds will compete Friday, June 6, at the Madison Regatta Festival. The winner of the final competition advances to the state level.
The Showdown offers new artists the chance to compete on a national stage in front of country music’s foremost experts. Tim McGraw, Martina McBride, and Miley Cirus found their start through the Showdown. Local contests allow rising stars to showcase their talent as they compete for a chance to advance to the state, regional, and final rounds of the competition. The winner receives $100,000.
Contestants should prepare acts that showcase their vocals and instrumentals but that avoid offensive or controversial material. Performances will be judged for marketability in country music, vocal-instrumental ability, originality, stage presence-charisma and talent.
Kristin Clevenger, a sales representative for WIKI, encourages contestants who write music to perform their original compositions, since the Showdown has a writing contest along with the performing contest. Though no local writing contest takes place, contestants may receive bonus points for original music.
Adkins echoes this advice noting, “If you want to go very far, you better find some original music. Original composition plays heavily into the scoring at higher levels of the competition.”
The May 19 qualifier takes place at Gold Star Chili and George’s Pharmacy in Versailles, Ind. Chandler Select on Madison hilltop (adjacent to Kroger) will serve as the site of the June 16 qualifier. Both events run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Since both the qualifiers and finals occur outside in front of a live audience, contestants must ensure their music fits the venue. Even those using acoustic instruments should be able to plug into the speaker system so everyone can hear and enjoy their entry. If vocalists need back-up music, they should bring their own CD since no back-up band is provided. Complete rules for the competition are available at Countryshowdown.com or by calling WIKI at (812) 273-3139.
Adkins has not yet decided if he will participate this year, however, he enthusiastically endorses the Showdown. He notes that he has made contacts he would never have made without this competition.
“I met some great singers and song writers, and I’m still meeting great people, all because of the competition.”
He and his mom travel regularly to Nashville, Tenn., to work with local artists and perform in various venues to build his dream to sing professionally. He credits the Showdown for putting significant pieces in place for this dream. The local contest sponsors include Chandler Chevrolet, George’s Pharmacy, Gilpin Monuments, Gold Star Chili, Needful Things and RoundAbout Madison. Applications are available at these sponsor locations.

Back to May 2012 Articles.



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