Birkdale becomes concert stage next month
by Staff Writer
On any given Saturday at Huntersville’s Birkdale Village, the scene may be relatively familiar with scores of people shopping or relaxing along the car-lined sidewalk and storefront shops.
But soon, one of the area’s biggest shopping venues will be transformed into a launching pad for a local singer and band in an American Idol-style competition.
On Oct. 1 and 8, Birkdale Village will play host to the semifinals for Sing!, a new vocal competition that kicked off nationally in April. For the first local round of the competition, North Carolina contestants, most of whom hail from the Huntersville, Davidson and Charlotte areas, uploaded audio performances to the Sing! website.
In the month and a half of online voting that followed, more than 55,000 votes were cast to narrow the list down to the 10 semifinalists and two alternates.
“It shows me the power that the Huntersville community has and the passion these participants share for performing,” said Raquel Crespo of the online voting process. Crespo, the assistant general manager for Birkdale Village.
“I feel as though North Carolina is starting to develop a very strong musical underground,” Nyshia Cook, one of the competition’s judges, said. “There are so many talented individuals who just need the opportunity to display their talent to the world.”
Cook, who teaches private lessons via her uptown Charlotte studio, Piano Passion, studied voice and classical piano professionally and shares the contestants’ passion for music.
“This program brings so much to the community for many individuals that have dreams of success in music,” Cook said. “Sing! provides an opportunity for them to be recognized for their talent and an outlet for them to present it on a professional platform.”
Sing! is the brainchild of Developers Diversified Realty, a real estate company that owns and manages more than 500 retail properties in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Brazil, including Birkdale Village. Twelve of the company’s retail centers across the country are participating in Sing! this year. Following the live semifinals in October, video recordings of the top three live performances from each property will be posted online. From there, a popular vote will narrow the competition down to 11 finalists, and in one final online vote, the grand prize winner will be chosen.
The nationally-winning group and soloist will win the opportunity to record a song with two-time Emmy award winner Kevin Briody.
“We thought his intimate style and storytelling were a perfect fit for this project,” Crespo said. “Kevin is a recognized singer and songwriter and we are very pleased to have him be a part of this event.”
Aside from having recorded four albums, one of Briody’s original songs – “Not Just a Dream” – was featured on the NBC broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
In addition to the recording, the winning group will also win $20,000 for the charity of their choice and $5,000 in MasterCard gift cards. For the winning soloist – a $5,000 charity donation and $2,500 in gift cards.
Want to go?
For more information about Sing! and to view the complete schedule of performances, visit www.birkdalevillage.