In the spotlight

Talent concert shines light on locals

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Since 1978, the Craig Concert Association has showcased local performing artists with its annual free Community Talent Concert.

Concert organizer Jim Sim-pson is making sure that 2006 is no different.

The event, scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Moffat County High School auditorium, will be no cakewalk for Simpson. In addition to stagehand duties, he plans to "go out there and make a little noise," playing in a pre-concert guitar duo with fellow Concert Association board director Jim Vorhies and an intermission trumpet performance with Yampa Valley Brass.

Simpson has printed 400 programs and hopes for about 350 to 400 people.

"It would be nice to fill the house, but that would be a tall order for a Sunday event, competing with other activities," Simpson said.

Simpson anticipates one of the best talent concerts in years.

"Everyone this year is pretty well-seasoned to being on stage, even the middle-schoolers," he said.

With only one first-time stage performer, the concert will feature a wide range of ages, from middle-schoolers to adults.

Selected from January auditions where Simpson admitted having "to turn away a few middle school air-guitar acts," the concert will highlight an array of Craig's best vocal and instrumental musical talents.

The artists will represent a diverse mix of musical tastes, with solo and group performances of everything including classic Mozart piano renditions and timeless folk and rock acts.

The concert will finish with a vocal ensemble from 16-member 'a cappella' group, the Yampa Valley chapter of Sweet Adelines International. The program's master of ceremonies is Moffat County Judge Mary Lynne James.

"She's a pro and knows how to keep things flowing," Simpson said about the 14th Judicial District judge, who has presided over the concert proceedings for several years.

The event is the only free community concert of the year, made possible by the volunteer efforts of Simpson, the sound and stage crew and the board member judges from the concert association.

For Simpson, James and other performers at this weekend's noncompetition-based talent showcase, the prize, as Simpson points out, "is getting to perform in the show itself."

Dave Shively can be reached at 824-7031.

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