Local News

High school singers compete in statewide talent show

Posted October 2, 2009 5:21 p.m. EDT
Updated October 2, 2009 6:38 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville music producer Knox Ewers wanted to better showcase the state’s young performers, so he developed a local show based on “American Idol.”

“Rip the Hallways” will take talent from auditions in four regions of the state.

Ewers, a Fayetteville native, said the music industry has no real presence in the region.

“I just took it upon myself to create an outlet for artists,” Ewers said.

With auditions in five North Carolina cities, Ewers will select 36 high-school-age contestants to compete in an hour-long show to be televised on Time Warner Cable in December.

Auditions are being held Saturday at the Headquarters Library, 300 Maiden Lane in Fayetteville, and at the Eva H. Perry Regional Library, 2100 Sheperds Vineyard Drive in Apex.

The grand prize is $10,000 and a chance to record a song.

Ewers, also known as J. Malice, said the show will also give young singers a chance to cultivate a fan base.

Arie Sprague, 14, is one of four contestants already selected to appear on the show.

“I’ve never thought about pursuing a career in it, but it’s just for fun. It’s good to be in this competition with other talented people,” Sprague said.

Jasmine Rose Wilson, 15, also made the cut.

“At first I was worried about how they’ll react to my voice because it’s pretty deep,” she said.

Wilson, a freshman at E.E. Smith High School, is a singer and songwriter who taught herself how to play piano.