Central Aroostook

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – Central Aroostook singers will take to the stage Friday and Saturday night in the Star City with the hope of wowing both judges and the audience and move onto the finals of the third annual Aroostook Idol competition.
    The 2007 Aroostook Idol planning committee added a second central Aroostook show to accommodate the “overwhelming number” of applicants who want to prove to the region that they are the county’s top singer.
According to Jason Parent, chair of the planning committee, 26 people applied to compete for the title of Aroostook Idol. One, however, has since withdrawn from the competition.
“When we met as a committee back in October to begin plans for the third Aroostook Idol, one of the things we did was look at the length issue of some of our shows,” said Parent. “We identified that 12 contestants would make about the right-timed show for us, so when we put out the call for talent throughout Aroostook County, we said the first 12 contestants who apply will be competing in each show.
“This year in central Aroostook, we received 26 applicants,” he said, noting that typically each year the committee receives between 12 and 18 applications for each show. “If we hadn’t added the second central Aroostook performance, we would have had to turn away more than we would have accepted into the show. With the interest being as high as it was, we polled the planning committee, the judges and the talent and everyone agreed to move forward with a second show to accommodate the large number of contestants.”
The central Aroostook shows will be held Friday, Feb. 9 and Saturday, Feb. 10, both at 7 p.m. at the Presque Isle Middle School Auditorium. Southern Aroostook’s show was held Feb. 3 in Houlton (see related story on Page 5), while northern Aroostook’s competition will be held Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Fox Auditorium.
The four stage shows will determine a winner for each region, who will then participate in a final production that will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 4 at the Caribou Performing Arts Center. Audience members will vote for their favorite contestants, and the three top vote getters will advance to the grand finale to vie for the title of sole “Aroostook Idol.”
Those competing in Friday night’s Aroostook Idol include Al Abbott of Washburn (“I Can’t Help Falling in Love”), Lydia Abbott of Washburn (“I Will Always Love You”), Annie Charles of Limestone (“Lord You Are Holy”), Caley Doody of Caribou (“Hero”), Sherri Zbylut of Caribou (“Why”), April Espling of Caribou (“Angels in Waiting”), Jessica McLeod of Caribou (“In the Arms of the Angel”), Julie Curtis of Chapman (“It Hurt So Bad”), Heather Searles of Caribou (“I Can Only Imagine”), Adam Simoes of Presque Isle (“Believe”), Julie Shaw of Westfield (“Call on Jesus”), and Randolph Michaud of Mapleton (“Y’all Come”).
Taking the stage Saturday night include April Dalbeck of Presque Isle (“Time in a Bottle”), Heaven Contafio of Caribou (“Somebody’s Hero”), Deanna Jordan of Caribou (“Anything But Ordinary”), Michelle Schwartz of Caribou (“Why Haven’t I Heard from You?”), Danielle Lane of Woodland (“When There Was Me and You”), Karen Morey of Caribou (“I Turn to You”), Jessica Guyan of Easton (“At Last”), Erin Buck of Caribou (“Baby Girl”), James Kavin of New Sweden (“Making Memories of Us”), and Shelagh Kavin of New Sweden (“Only Hope”).
Organizers are extremely happy with the interest in this year’s Aroostook Idol competition.
“We’re very, very pleased with the overwhelming response in central Aroostook,” said Parent. “With this being our third year, you always wonder whether or not the interest is going to be there for people to come out and share their talent, but the response in central Aroostook has been greater than any of the previous years, so it’s very gratifying for us.
“At the same time, this presents the United Way with a unique opportunity,” he said. “Since all of the proceeds go directly toward the United Way’s supported agencies throughout Aroostook County, by adding a second central Aroostook show, not only does it allow the contestants who would have otherwise been turned away to have an opportunity to share their talent, but gives the United Way an opportunity to raise additional funds for its member agencies.”
Last year’s Aroostook Idol raised nearly $35,000.
Admission to any Aroostook Idol show is $8. Tickets are available at any Key Bank branch in Aroostook County.
For more information on the “Aroostook Idol” competition, contact the United Way of Aroostook at (207) 764-5197.