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Local talent ready for country showdown

Six hopeful vocalists to compete at Arden Theatre

By: Anna Borowiecki

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jun 06, 2012 06:00 am

FINALIST - Paul Kane graduate Jessy Mossop is one of the finalists at the Global Country Concert and Country Star Search Finals. It will be held at the Arden Theatre on Monday, June 11.
FINALIST - Paul Kane graduate Jessy Mossop is one of the finalists at the Global Country Concert and Country Star Search Finals. It will be held at the Arden Theatre on Monday, June 11.
BILL BORGWARDT/Supplied photo

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Global Country Concert and Country Star Search Finals
Monday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Arden Theatre
Tickets: $31.50. Call 780-459-1542 or go online to:

There’s a country showdown coming to St. Albert’s Arden Theatre. And the weapons of choice are powerful voices belonging to six rising stars.

The 14th annual Global Country Concert and Country Star Search once again is searching for the next Shania Twain or George Canyon to represent Alberta at the North American Country Music Association’s International (NACMAI) competitions in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

The six provincial finalists, all over 18, are all talented but only one will emerge as the winner. The competitors are Tyler Lizotte and Melody Lovejoy from Edmonton, Lyndsay Butler from High River, Dan Grosse from Calgary, Candice Ryan from Spruce Grove and St. Albert’s own Jessy Mossop.

The singer with the most votes receives a $1,000 cash prize, a 10-day trip to Nashville that includes a tour of the Grand Ole Opry, Music Row, a music studio visit and a meeting with industry insiders.

But the icing on the cake is NACMAI’s competition that last year attracted 800 entries from across the world.

“Something like this gives them confidence, experience, mentorship and an introduction to the right people. The trip to Nashville gives them a jumpstart into the industry where they meet writers, producers and technical people. Part of the package is also attending the Canadian Country Music Association conference where they can meet and network with the rest of the industry,” says Global director Bill Borgwardt.

Mossop, a 2011 Paul Kane graduate, had competed two years ago but received only an honourable mention. Rather than deter her, it instilled a fierceness to improve.

“You really have to work on your performance,” she said. “The competition is so tough. I’m hoping the experience of my past performances and having played in a band will help.”

Classically trained in piano and voice by the late Frances Schuchard, Mossop will instead sing John Denver’s Country Roads at the competition.

“My mom and dad sang it when I was kid and I wanted to pick a song where I could show my true passion.”

Andrew Scott, last year’s winner, found the trip to Nashville life-changing.

“You see the complete cream of the world. It was unreal. The professionalism really opened my eyes to see how good you have to be. The best in Canada is pretty standard down there. It was incredibly sobering, but also inspiring,” he said.

During the first half of the Global competition, the singers will perform. A winner is selected based on votes from both judges and the audience. While the votes are being tabulated, Lisa Hewitt and The Trads will perform The Little Ole Opry: Lisa Hewitt’s Country Road Show. The winner will be announced during Hewitt’s set.

Past competitors to carve a career include Brett Kissel, Katie Mission, St. Albert’s Leah Durelle and Kayla Patrick, a finalist in MuchMusic’s current video contest.


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