Favorite

Windsong looks for ‘Little Rock Star’ 

Talented vocalists from Arkansas ages 15 to 35 will have a chance to be a “star,” and it won’t be an all-or-nothing premise like winning “American Idol” or “Nashville Star.”

The Windsong Performing Arts Center will begin taking applications beginning April 23 through May 5 for its “Little Rock Star” contest. When the entries are whittled down to a working 100, the public can come out in June to see the competition.

While designed somewhat like “Idol” or “Nashville Star,” there are significant differences, says Eric Chesher, the Windsong director of promotions.

Everyone who makes the final 20 of “Little Rock Star” will get a guaranteed one-year recording/artist development contract. The top 10 will get a guaranteed two-year contract for recording and development. The winner gets a three-year deal with a music video that, Chesher says, will be seen statewide.

“We’re a little different at the Windsong studios in that we’re an empty studio that is trying to fill it with talent,” Chesher said of the facility, which includes the 314-seat Pace Concert Hall.

Already, the Windsong has contacted colleges and high schools about the contest. Chesher says expectations are that 3,000 people could enter. He’s currently working on TV deals with a couple of area networks to show the auditions and five-week “countdown” challenge contest, plus showing the final live.

The only risk is a $95 registration fee, which Chesher said is being charged to limit the number of folks who would enter just on a lark. “This is a serious search,” he said. “We’re not looking for people who would look good on a TV show. We’re looking for real talent. You don’t have to be a character.”

When a major label such as Capitol Records signs a talent, the act is farmed out to one of the corporation’s minor labels for development, Chesher said. The act doesn’t have to pay for recording, but few artists make it past their first album, and studios are certain to get their money back they invested up front, and then some, if an artist continues to record.

In “Little Rock Star,” everybody from the top 20 on down will enjoy recording and development free of charge. “With the winner getting a three-year commitment from us, that’s something that’s never really been done before … Our goal is to have a full stable of talent that is truly developed, trained, and ready for the major labels,” he said.

Some on the young end of the age spectrum may display the raw talent but need vocal or piano training, and thus not advance to the final 20. “We want to be able to provide that [training] in the form of scholarships,” Chesher said. “A lot will depend on the actual response this first go-round.”

Chesher lives in Franklin, Tenn., with an office in Nashville as well as Little Rock. He has worked with Becky and Steve Witkowski, the owners of Windsong, for six years. “Doing the things we want to do with the studio, it helps to have a presence in Nashville and an office in Little Rock, too,” Chesher said. “With it being five hours away, it’s not a problem to travel between the two cities. It’s about to kill me, but it’s working out well.”

For information on registering for “Little Rock Star,” call 753-8694.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Harris

  • Review: Postmodern Jukebox at Clear Channel Metroplex

    The band’s shows cover most of the songs that have either been Youtube viewing sensations or are already album classics with that PMJ touch, such as Taylor Swift’s “Shake, Shake, Shake” and Radiohead’s “Creep.” Consider us blown away though by the show’s main set concluding number of The Postal Service/Ben Gibbard-penned “Such Great Heights” done as if by the Jackson 5 in an “I Want You Back” styling.
    • May 6, 2017
  • Review: Boston at Verizon Arena

    As it was, nobody left the arena and into a suddenly chilly April night saying, “I wished they’d played [song name].” Boston played it all, whether you wanted it or not.
    • Apr 27, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Trump unfit

    Even as an oligarch, President Trump turns out to be breathtakingly incompetent. Is there any reason to suppose he's even loyal to the United States? Does he even understand the concept? Trump is loyal to Trump, and to his absurdly swollen ego. Nothing and nobody else.
  • You want tort reform? Try this.

    The nursing home industry and the chamber of commerce finally defeated the trial lawyers in the 2017 legislature. The Republican-dominated body approved a constitutional amendment for voters in 2018 that they'll depict as close to motherhood in goodness.
  • Goodbye, Mr. Trump

    It is hard to escape the feeling that the fortunes of President Trump and the country took a decisive, and for Trump a fatal, turn May 9-10, when the president fired the director of the FBI over its investigation of Russian efforts to swing the presidential election to him and the very next day shared top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in an Oval Office meeting closed except to a Kremlin press aide toting electronic gear to capture the intimate session for Russians but not Americans.
  • Raw feelings in the Arkansas Justice Building over workload, pay

    Strained relations between the Arkansas Supreme Court and the Arkansas Court of Appeals broke into public view this week. I expect more to come.

Latest in Jim Harris

  • What a great, fast eight years

    Eight years. I’ve really been “at the job” of newspapers for much longer, it just focused on entertainment during these past eight years. Starting next week, it will focus on sports. Again. Where I started eons ago.
    • May 4, 2007
  • Mickelson goes by the numbers

    It's all in the short game, Phil Mickelson says s at Alotian.
    • Apr 26, 2007
  • Back to what I really love

    Where was I, the sports lover, the guy who couldn’t wait for Dickey-Stephens to open, a few of you may ask? I was checking out one of my other loves: a local, original music show at Juanita’s that the University of Central Arkansas Honors College had pull
    • Apr 23, 2007
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

New Entrance and North Forest to debut with Chihuly exhibit opening at Crystal Bridges

Dual Chihuly exhibit opening also brings culmination of year-plus forest project

Event Calendar

« »

May

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Tollywood tumble

    • Thank you for sharing.
      Telugu Film Actress Gallery
      http://www.moviemanthra.com/english/category/actress/

    • on May 22, 2017
  • Re: A Q&A with Bob Dorough

    • like Rodney replied I'm taken by surprise that you able to profit $9659 in four…

    • on May 20, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation