Lamorinda Idol Contestants Don’t Miss a Beat for Winter Edition

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(Courtesy of Lamorinda Idol)
(L-R) Vivian Welch, Cara Impallomeni and Miranda Klein were solo finalists in the K-2 solo category of Lamorinda Idol in 2019. They are shown here performing at one of the many events finalists (pre-pandemic) often attended. “They continue to be involved and are budding superstars,” said Steve Harwood, Lamorinda Idol organizer.

    The show must go on and then some according to organizers of Lamorinda Idol, who didn’t miss a beat when COVID-19 restrictions made in-person performances impossible. The Lamorinda Arts Council, which sponsors the competition, moved the 2020 competition online. Now, the organization has added a first-ever winter version with a March 14 online awards ceremony.
    The singing competition for grades kindergarten through high school has taken place since 2006. In pre-COVID times, the finalists competed at The Orinda Theatre to crowds of cheering supporters. When the pandemic hit in winter of 2020, the contest was well underway.
    “Steve Harwood’s amazing leadership allowed us to pivot from an in-person to a remote competition,” said Lamorinda Arts Council’s Carol Van De Poel. “He completely re-tooled how we do everything. Now, the singers videotape their auditions. Once the finalists have been chosen and compiled their final tapes, we post them online and people can watch them and vote for the audience award winner.”
    Before the finalists post final videos, however, they have the opportunity to take online workshop sessions with Rena Wilson, co-owner of Performing Academy and a past lead in “Beach Blanket Babylon.” The winter edition final videos will be available at www.lamorindaarts.org beginning March 3 and continuing through March 10.
    “Anyone in the public – worldwide – is permitted to vote once,” said Harwood, who noted the winter edition gives young performers an added outlet not available with COVID-19 restrictions. “Normally, we run Idol during the summer months and the singers have lots of opportunities to perform around town. Since that’s not the case right now, we thought this event during the school year might offset the school singing programs that have been curtailed. The response has continued at the same high level of enthusiasm as in the past.”
    Lamorinda Idol Winter Edition was open to anyone who lives or goes to school in Contra Costa County. Divided into categories based on age, a total of 41 soloists and 14 groups made it to the finals. The winners, one per category, are selected by a panel of three music professionals, with winners receiving cash prizes ranging from $200-$400.
    The winners will be announced at a March 14 Zoom webinar from 7 – 8:30 p.m. The event will include segments of the finalists’ videos, general comments from the judges as well as the presentation of the winners. The public is invited to enjoy the show. A link will be posted on the Lamorinda Arts Council website prior to the event.

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