2012 Idol contestants are tuning up for competition

By Evelyn Cairns
Downriver Idol title hopefuls are tuning up their vocal chords in preparation for the Southern Great Lakes Symphony’s Idol III auditions, scheduled for Friday through Sunday.

For the first time, a junior division will allow younger singers to compete with their peers rather than with more experienced singers, a SGLS spokesman said.

Contestants can sing anything they please at the three-minute auditions, from opera, pop and rock to country and blues, and should provide their own accompanists if they are not singing a cappella or with karaoke.

Participants must be at least 18 years old or have permission from their parents or guardians to take part. A $5 fee and preregistration on the SGLS web-site (www.sgls.org) are required.

The spokesman suggests that contestants bring their friends to the semifinals and finals, as audience voting accounts for 20 percent of the total score.

Tickets for the semifinals and junior finals are $5 and $10 (for premium seating). Tickets for the senior finals, to be held during the SGLS Feb. 26 “Fantasia” concert, are $25.

The audition and performance schedules are:
Preliminary auditions:
• Jan. 13 — 7 to 9 p.m. at the Woodhaven Best Western, 21700 West Road, Woodhaven (karaoke style).

• Jan. 14 — 1 to 3 p.m. at Southland Center Mall, 23000 Eureka Road, Taylor.

• Jan. 15 — 1 to 3 p.m. at the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut, Wyandotte.

Junior and Senior Semifinals:
• Feb. 3 — 7:30 p.m. at the Flat Rock Community Auditorium, 28100 Aspen Drive, Flat Rock.

Junior Finals:
• Feb. 10 — 7:30 p.m. at the Flat Rock Commu-nity Auditorium.

Senior Finals:
• Feb. 26 — At the SGLS “Fantasia” concert.

For more information, call 734-246-2890 or visit the SGLS website.

Steve Ross to perform at Crystal Gardens
Cabaret singer and pianist Steve Ross, described by the New York Times as “…the suavest of all male cabaret performers,” will entertain a Downriver Town Hall Lecture series audience at 11 a.m. Thursday at Crystal Gardens in Southgate. Doors will open at 10 a.m.

Ross has performed at swanky clubs and parties throughout his career, which began after he studied the piano, attended Georgetown University and served in the U.S. Army. He made his Broadway debut in 1997 in the revival of Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” at the keyboard and portraying Fred, the Cockney valet, opposite Frank Langella.

For information about program or luncheon tickets, call 734-783-0224.

Save the date . . .
Jan. 12 — Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber member tribute; 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Downriver Italian American Hall, 646 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; $15 per person; hors d’oeuvres and re-freshments will be served; for more information, call 734-284-6000 or go to www.swccc.org.

Jan. 16 — Family Days program at the Henry Ford Museum; 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; live musical per-formances, make-and-take activities, tour of the “Lib-erty and Justice for All” exhibit and giveaways; no charge for the program or admission to the museum, courtesy of Target; for more information, call 313-982-6001 or go to www.thehenryford.org.