There are just four days left to vote for the 1035 The Eagle Talent Search Final 5. With each contestant vying to win a recording session with 8-time ECMA Recording Engineer of the Year Jamie Foulds at his Soundpark Studios, there’s a lot on the line.
The Final 5 are Nancy MacDougall (Port Hawkesbury), Gary Williams (Mulgrave), Chad Huntington (Sydney), Brandon Lafantaise (River Bourgeois) & The Yarnells (Sydney).
All contestants submitted original songs for this year’s contest and according to 1035 The Eagle’s music director, Jay Bedford, all are worthy of the prize.
“The stakes are getting high in the Eagle Talent Search contest,” enthuses Bedford. “Last year half the entries were original. This year 95% were.”
Both MacDougall and Williams were finalists in last year’s contest. For MacDougall it was a turning point in her musical career. “Last year’s competition inspired me to write more and to do more live performances. In a way, it’s pushed me to look towards the next level,” she says.
For The Yarnells, a folk-rock group from Sydney, it’s a chance to have their music heard by a different audience. Kate McLeod, who does vocals and plays glockenspiel, praises the contest. “We believe it is important to celebrate local music and we are grateful that 103.5 The Eagle gives local musicians a chance to share their art.” She adds, “Having the opportunity to work with Jamie Foulds is the cherry on top.”
Williams, who’s been compared to country greats like Randy Travis and Alan Jackson, hopes the contest will give him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of recording a full length CD. Twenty-three year old Chad Huntington is on the same page. He says he’s been working on a demo but hasn’t had the resources and knows working with someone like Foulds will help his music grow.
The youngest of this year’s Eagle Talent Search Final 5 is 16-year old Brandon Lafantaise. The Richmond Academy student wrote and recorded his submission during lunch hour and says he entered to prove to himself he has the talent his friends, family and teachers say he does. Making it to the Final 5 may be that proof. “I’m finally starting to believe them,” he says shyly.
Check out this year’s Eagle Talent Search Final 5 at www.eagle1035.com. Voting ends Sunday, August 28 at midnight. The winner will be announced Monday, August 29.