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Talent show gearing up

Lunenburg’s Got Talent, which is embarking on its second year, aims to have more performers and new judges. That’s according to event director Pat Israel, who spoke during the Lunenburg County Chamber of Commerce meeting Feb. 22.

The competition is set to take place in the spring.

Israel said the event, presented by the chamber and sponsored by Benchmark Community Bank, would build on the inaugural talent competition in encouraging area youth from public, private and homeschools to feel empowered in their abilities.

“This is such a good thing for people who are competing to receive recognition,” Israel said, “(to) know that community leaders and business people are behind them enough to come and spend that couple hours of time watching them.”

A previous Dispatch report noted that contestants sang, danced or played instruments, including the piano and clarinet, during the event. Winners in three age groups received checks for $500.

She said the grand prize for the winner is $500.

Israel said she is inviting public officials from Lunenburg County and the towns of Victoria and Kenbridge.

Last year’s competition had 12 entries of students from first grade to high school.

“Some were individual performers, and a couple were, couples, so we can have an ensemble or a band. We can try and limit it because the stage areas are small,” Israel said. “We got a pretty good variety last year and (are) hoping for more this year.”

Israel said she would like to see three additional performances this year.

Israel and Chamber President Mel Payne said they are also looking for judges that would be knowledgeable and who live outside of the county. Israel said this would prevent Lunenburg leaders from being put in uncomfortable positions to choose or not choose contestants they may know, and to prevent perceived bias.

“We need people that we know that have some knowledge about talent, what’s talent and what’s not, but somebody that would not be biased,” Payne said. “We only used three last year. That’s all we would need this time.”

Israel said last year, the judges took time to give contestants affirmation. She suggested radio announcers and dance or music teachers as potential judges.

Israel said there is a small committee involved with the show, and those interested in volunteering would get emails about the planning process and potentially be tasked with certain assignments.

“We would love to have any and all volunteers,” Israel said.

To learn more, contact Israel at (434) 321-9448 and patisrael@earthlink.net.