From crowd-pleasing, veteran Michigan artists to performances by up-and-coming acts at a second-year talent competition, there was a lot to celebrate in early January. The photos and more at Local Spins.
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West Michigan’s music scene
The future was on display for much of the Saturday night at Rockford High School’s Fine Arts Auditorium.
The second annual Rockford’s Got Talent competition spotlighted the next generation of musical stars, from a pair of fourth graders singing a sweet duet to a Central Michigan University pianist and singer-songwriter who’s already been gracing West Michigan stages.
In the end, that CMU student, Porter Kenyon, of Cedar Springs, won the adult division of the contest for the second year in a row after performing a new original song. He took home the $500 top prize, with singer Lauren Hendrick in second and pianist Mike Boerman in third.
In the youth division, up-and-coming teen singer-songwriter Izubel of Rockford snagged first place and the $500 grand prize — also while performing an original song — followed by last year’s winner, singer-guitarist Lily Harper, and pianist-singer Brigid byrne
Other performers in the youth division included singer-songwriter Madalyn Kennedy, singers Kaylee Ward & Reese Eckert and young theater performer and songwriter Everleigh Murphy. (Scroll down for video highlights.)
In some ways, Byrne was actually the evening’s biggest winner: She won the People’s Choice Award based on voting by fans online who made donations to the Krause Memorial Library Expansion Fund so they could cast ballots for their favorite artists in the competition. As a result of her win, Byrne will receive 50 percent of the estimated $5,750 in donations collected by the sponsoring Rockford Area Community Endowment.
Judges for this year’s event were Catherine Behrendt of WZZM TV 13, Shane German of WYCE-FM, Elliot Grandia of FOX 17, musician Dennie Middleton and John Sinkevics of Local Spins.
On the flip side Saturday night — and about 17 miles away — a veteran, long-celebrated West Michigan band returned to The Intersection: Domestic Problems fired up its devoted fans with help from Kalamazoo’s Knee deep shag in what photographer Steve Baran described as “a beautiful show.”
In Kalamazoo on Saturday, Dormouse Theater hosted a night of compelling music courtesy of Birdfingers, Elisabeth Pixley-Fink other David S Kruse to kick off the concert year.
And earlier in the weekend, Cadillac native (and current resident of Spain) Luke Winslow King regaled a pack house on Friday at Tip Top Deluxe Bar & Grill, with help from Michigan singer-songwriter Jen Sygit.
Scroll down to browse photo galleries from all of these shows.
PHOTO GALLERY: Rockford’s Got Talent at RHS Fine Arts Auditorium
PHOTO GALLERY: Domestic Problems, Knee Deep Shag at The Intersection
Photos by Steve Baran