Marisa Potate took the MSU Riley Center stage in Meridian in November 2006 with the dream a lot of young, and many not so young, people often have.....to record their music. Now it's happening for her.
"Since last year when I won the Afterschool (Not) Idle competition, I've just been practicing every day," said Potate. "And I've actually got some original songs I've been practicing for when I go up to Nashville. I'm really excited about those songs, because they were actually written by a top writer in Nashville."
Marisa, who says she's always wanted to be a singer, left Tuesday for Music City.
Peavey Electronics has spearheaded Afterschool events here in Meridian and last year added the natural extension of a talent contest.
Company president Mary Peavey, who is also a board member of the national Afterschool Alliance, says the company's Nashville office is managed by a top session musician. The contest is open to children in K-12.
"You would not believe the talent that's out there. It's wonderful, wonderful talent," Peavey said. "We're going to have a preliminary judging and then at the mall, The Radio People are going to be hosting and judging the secondary of that and then they'll pick three finalists. And those three finalists will be the ones that perform at the Riley Center for the final competition. And it's a great launching pad."
Contestants must pre-register at The Radio People by Oct. 12 for the initial audition. Semi-finalists will perform at the mall on Oct. 27. Three finalists will perform at the MSU Riley Center on Nov. 15.
And Marisa's advice? "Just, I guess have fun and be yourself. And definitely prepare for it. It's coming up in two weeks. And you just have to sing your heart out."
Information about the contest and how to enter:
Afterschool (Not) Idle" is a three-tiered singing competition presented by Peavey for students who are enrolled in public, private or home school grades K-12. The audition round will be held at Peavey International Headquarters, 5022 Hartley Peavey Drive (Hwy. 493 North), on Saturday, October 13, where contestants will sing a capella. Anyone interested in participating should pre-register by October 12 at The Radio People's offices, 3436 Old Highway 45 North in Meridian, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Official Rules will be available).
The semifinalists from the audition round will advance and compete live, with backing music, at "Afterschool (Not) Idle" in the JC Penney court of Bonita Lakes Mall on Saturday, October 27, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Three finalists from "Afterschool (Not) Idle" will compete during the official Lights On Afterschool rally at the MSU Riley Center on November 15 before an audience of their peers and a panel of judges.
The Grand Prize Winner of "Afterschool (Not) Idle" will win a free Nashville recording session with top musicians. The first runner-up will receive $750 in Peavey gear of the winner's choosing, and the second runner-up will receive $500 in Peavey gear of the winner's choosing.