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Singing from the Heart in Alaska

Posted: Monday, July 03, 2006

 

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  Fans & visitors gather at the Peninsula Center Mall for the weekly Sing From the Heart competition.

Fans & visitors gather at the Peninsula Center Mall for the weekly Sing From the Heart competition.

If you like watching American Idol or reality programs like Last Comic Standing, then you’ll love seeing live the Peninsula’s version known as Sing From The Heart at the Peninsula Center Mall every Thursday evening. Now in its third year, Sing From The Heart was the inspiration of Sue Gill, owner of Alaska’s Hairlines, “I was new to the Mall and I wanted to start something that would bring people back to the Mall and let them know that it was alive and well, and a love I have in my heart is to help promote people and encourage them to reach for their dream. So with the generosity of Glen and Becky Martin who provide the space, and the support of the Peninsula Center Mall Merchants we got started and last year’s winner J.T. Thompson is now singing his heart out in Las Vegas,” said Gill.

 

Promoter Sue Gill and judge Molly Blakeley prepare for the weekly Sing From the Heart competition at the Peninsula Center Mall.

The program starts with auditions in the beginning of June when 15 finalists are selected. Then each Thursday at 6:00pm the finalists compete, with two being eliminated each week until there is a final winner. Additionally Gill brings in a guest talent each week to provide additional entertainment for visitors, family, and friends, “We usually have a large crowd, it’s great free entertainment and a terrific opportunity for singers of all ages to be seen and heard, that makes them all winners whether they are eliminated or not,” added Gill. This year’s youngest contestant is 13-year-old Travis Gage of Sterling who is still standing after three weeks of eliminations.

 

13-year-old Travis Gage sings from his heart in hopes of winning local talent competition at Peninsula Center Mall.

Judges for the Sing From The Heart are twin sisters Becky and Trina Sanford, and Molly Blakeley of Hooligans in Soldotna. Each contestant prepares two songs weekly and is judged for an acappella and a karaoke offering for the quality of their voice, expression, and stage presence. Contestants are competing for some $2,000 in cash and prizes for the winner, “Each year I collect money from people who want to donate to the program and encourage others to reach for their dream and this year I’ve collected nearly $2,000 plus a recording session for a demonstration CD, so were excited,” said Gill. Additionally the Sing From The Heart winner will audition to represent the State of Alaska at the next American Idol tryouts. Anyone interested in more information or supporting the program may contact Sue Gill at Alaska’s Hairlines or any Mall Merchant in the Peninsula Center Mall.



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