Nearly a decade since its two-season debut, the statewide singing competition “Lakeshore’s Rising Stars!” is returning to the lakeshore this summer. The nine-week music competition will once again be held at the Capitol Civic Centre, a refurbished 1921 vaudeville-style performing arts center in the heart of downtown Manitowoc, from June 22 to August 20.
In its premier season, “Lakeshore’s Rising Stars!” sold out the final six of its nine performances after quickly gaining a widespread and loyal following, according to co-producer Riley Haupt. The second year of the show again brought consecutive sold-out crowds.
Haupt says fans quickly realized that the popular singing competition was much more than simply a show. “It’s a summer-long experience, and people lined the streets each week in hopes of purchasing their ticket to participate in the excitement. Each show features a full seven-piece professional band backing the performers. This is not a karaoke event; we are looking for the best amateur singers in the state.”
Along with the recognition and a unique experience, the grand prize winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. A total of $17,500 in cash prizes will be paid out to the ten finalists, including $3,000 for second place and $2,000 for third.
Auditions will be held Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12. Entrants will perform songs of their choice, a cappella style, for the judges, who will select the top ten finalists to move on to the nine-week performance round. Registration to audition will open in January and will be limited to the first 1,000 people. Contestants must be at least 16 years old as of June 1, 2016 and a legal Wisconsin resident.
Each week, the final contestants will perform for a live audience, choosing songs to fit weekly themes such as country, 80’s, musicals, and performer’s choice. A panel of judges will provide live feedback based on vocal performance, stage presence, and overall entertainment. Fans will then have the opportunity to vote immediately at the Capitol Civic Centre as well as throughout the week at various sponsor locations. The lowest ranking contestant will be eliminated weekly until the top five remain to compete through to the end.
“Lakeshore’s Rising Stars!” is presented by Bank First National and is a production of Seehafer Broadcasting Corp. of Manitowoc, WI. “We wanted to be sure we could bring back season three with the same or higher level of excitement that we saw in 2007,” says co-producer Terry Stevenson. “This season will be bigger and better than we could have imagined back then.”
Joining the production team this season is Brennan Seehafer, an experienced production manager who has worked with national acts such as Joan Jett, Dennis DeYoung, Luke Bryan and Ariana Grande.
More information on the event will be announced soon online atlakeshoresrisingstars.com. Season tickets will go on-sale on Black Friday (November 27) and will be available until December 24 exclusively through the Capitol Civic Centre. As in past seasons, a portion of the ticket proceeds will be donated to various local charities around Manitowoc County.