Amateurs get chance to shine on stage all summer

Weekly performances will determine winner for series

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Local amateur performers will have a chance to prove their talent this summer on stage.

The Columbia County Amateur Series, to be held at the Columbia County Amphitheater, begins Friday, June 1, and runs most Fridays until the finale Sept. 8, said Sandy Boner, the county’s rental facilities and venues manager.

The series, which was Boner’s idea, was inspired by a popular television show.

“It’s kind of set up like America’s Got Talent,” said Calie Cook, the administrative coordinator for Boner. “She (Boner) came up with this event to spotlight our local artists and give them a chance to perform on a venue for free.”

The series will feature 40 performers between the ages of 7 and 60, Boner said. Some of the talents include dancing, hula-hooping and singing.

One of the performers is Celia Gary, 21, of North Augusta, who describes herself as an up-and-coming musician.

She said she will perform original music, and she is eager for the opportunity.

“I’m really excited about performing in front of a bigger audience, about sharing all my originals with this audience and getting my name out there,” Gary said.

The participants will compete to be a monthly winner, and then the winners from each month will compete in the finale for the grand prize, Cooke said.

The grand prize includes many items, but one coincides with the inspiration behind the series.

“They’ll also receive a front-of-the-line pass to go before the judges of America’s Got Talent,” Cooke said.

The finale will be videotaped for broadcast by WAGT-TV, Boner said.

“I’m looking forward to the response by the crowd,” Boner said. “I want the performers and audience to have a good time. I hope everybody enjoys it.”

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Columbia County Amateur Series

WHEN: 7-9 p.m. Fridays, June-August

WHERE: Columbia County Amphitheater

DETAILS: One winner chosen each month; grand prize winner selected Aug. 31; free admission; vote online after performances for favorite; most votes moves up in competition


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