I wrote this for my JRN 300 class in October 2009.
Michigan State University Students will get a chance to show off their pipes this November. MSU’s University Activities Board (UAB) discussed plans for Spartan Idol at their weekly meeting on September 28.
Spartan Idol is like the TV show “American Idol” for MSU student’s, said UAB’s Communications Director Courtney Loughman. Loughman is in charge of organizing and facilitating the event, along with UAB’s Spirit and Traditions Director Stephanie Donelko.
“The event is an awesome opportunity for MSU students to come out and showcase their talent,” said Loughman. “It can be music majors or just people who want to try it out for fun and it brings in a lot of different people.”
During auditions, judges choose the top 12 singers to perform at the event. After the first performance, four finalists are chosen to sing a second song. The winner is chosen from the top four by a mix of audience participation and judges opinions, said Donelko.
“Any MSU student can audition as long as they are available the night of the actual show,” said Loughman. There are no restrictions on grade, major or even singing ability.
In addition to bragging rights, the winner of Spartan Idol will win an iPod touch, a $100 iTunes gift card and a Flip video camera. For some students, like political science junior Liz Kim, the prizes have a huge impact on their decision whether or not to enter the competition.
“It seems like it would be fun,” said Kim. “And, if you win, there is an award.”
Kim first heard about Spartan Idol last year from advertisements UAB put in cafeterias. Kim is still not sure is she will be able to find time in her schedule to participate in Spartan Idol. If she does, however, she already has an idea of the songs she would sing.
“I have sang Patty Griffin’s ‘Up From The Mountain’ int he past. I would want something slower and more acoustic like,” said Kim. “Maybe something by Norah Jones.”
“The night of the event is [students] time to shine in front of the campus and their peers,” said Loughman said. “It is so much fun and everyone involved seems to enjoy themselves.”
Auditions for the show are October 19, 20 and 21 in various parts of campus. The actual November 14 at 8 p.m. at the International Center.
UAB’s Marketing Assistant Jake Lestan said there is also a special incentive for UAB’s Facebook fans. UAB now has a weekly photo contest in which students can submit photos and win prizes. There is a weekly theme, and whichever picture directors believe best matches up with the theme is the winner. Past themes have included being a UAB poster, being at one of UAB’s free events and showing the best “game face.”