Young vocalists being sought for second annual Harmony Sings contest

By : 
Melissa Vander Plas
Bluff Country Newspaper Group

As the Fourth of July holiday planning is in full swing, The Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce is in search of young Harmony residents, aged 15 to 25, to audition for the second annual Harmony Sings contest.

According to director Becky Hoff and chamber member Jane Kingsley, they would like to see the singing contest become another one of Harmony’s great Fourth of July traditions — joining the ranks of the celebration’s parade, fireworks, toad jumping contest, pedal pull and pork chop dinner in the park. Harmony Sings kicked off last year and two singers, Alex Lange and Megan Hendrickson, represented Harmony in the state contest last fall.

This year’s Harmony Sings contest will be held on Sunday, July 1, at 2 p.m. at the Old Legion Hall. Forms to register can be found on the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce website, at the Harmony Visitor Center or at Kingsley Mercantile.

On the day of the singing competition, participants will be asked to provide a musical track on CD to accompany them, which can be no longer than five minutes.

Contestants can sing any kind of music, from Broadway to blues, country to rock, arias from opera or contemporary Christian, the possibilities are endless. Organizers stress, however, that the lyrics to the song should be family friendly and must be memorized.

The top two contestants will be eligible to advance and represent Harmony at the Statewide Minnesota Sings Contest.

Local winners will also be rewarded with a generous prize package, Kingsley and Hoff noted. The first-place winner will receive $500; a Harmony business prize package; one-night lodging for two at the Minnesota Sings venue; two complimentary tickets to the Minnesota Sings Contest for guests; a trophy and a place in the Fourth of July parade.

The second place winner will receive $100 in Harmony Dollars from the Harmony Area Chamber of Commerce; a Harmony business prize package; one night lodging at the Statewide Minnesota Sings venue; and a trophy.

The third-place winner will receive Harmony business prizes and a trophy.

Adding the Harmony Sings contest was an idea both Kingsley and Hoff developed at nearly the same time. Both had conversations with Chuck Spavin, organizer of Minnesota Sings, when he was visiting Harmony last year.

“I love music,” said Kingsley, “so I jumped all over it. We have so much talent in Harmony and I thought this was a great opportunity.”

She mentioned the idea to Hoff, who admitted that she had also had a conversation with Spavin and was also excited about the idea of adding it to the Fourth of July celebration.

Both ladies hope to build a tradition showcasing young Harmony vocal talent and are committed to hosting the Harmony Sings contest for three years. They stressed the contest is open to anyone, in the specified age range, with a Harmony address. Even Harmony-based college students are eligible to enter.

The July 1 contest is open to the public, with no charge for admission. Lane Powell will be the master of ceremonies for the event.

“Music is something you can carry on through your life,” Kingsley added. “There are so many avenues in which you can share music. People enjoy singing and it brings them a lot of joy to share.”

The prize packages being offered are provided by the Chamber of Commerce, local businesses and other event sponsors.

If one is interested in registering for the Harmony Sings Contest, seeking the title of “Voice of Harmony,” one may call Hoff at the Chamber of Commerce office or Kingsley at Kingsley Mercantile with any questions.