Auditions for Grand Forks’ Best Singer next week

A promoter from Creston is holding auditions in Grand Forks next week for a singing contest to be held in October.

Think you can sing Grand Forks? Promoter Vern Gorham has just the contest for you.

Think you can sing Grand Forks? Promoter Vern Gorham has just the contest for you.

A promoter from Creston is holding auditions next week for a singing contest to be held in October.

Vern Gorham will be holding auditions at the Gospel Chapel in Grand Forks on Sept. 14 from 4 until 7 p.m. for the first annual Grand Forks’ Best Singer contest. The contest itself will take place on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the auditorium at Grand Forks Secondary School.

With the proliferation of such shows as American Idol and America’s Got Talent, Gorham is following their example on a more local level by holding auditions and contests all over the Kootenay region, culminating with a regional contest with each area’s best meeting sometime late next spring, possibly early June. Thus far, he has had contests in Creston and Nelson.

“These are just private auditions, myself and possibly a small panel of judges will be there and basically, the Top 20 auditionists will get to sing in the contest,” said Gorham.

“My contest is open to all ages. My youngest singer in the Nelson contest was 10 years old and my oldest was right around 60. In Creston, I had one guy singing who was 76 and he was amazing.”

Gorham says that singers can accompany themselves, use one of his karaoke tracks, or bring their own music, so long as it is free of obscenities.

“The only stipulation is that it has to be family friendly, basically G-rated songs. No profanity. I want it so that if someone brings their grandma along, she’s not covering her ears,” he explained.

While there will be a panel judging, Gorham promises that his contests are upbeat and he won’t resort to insult hurling, ala former American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

“My singers will not go home feeling embarrassed or brow-beaten or anything like that,” Gorham said.

“I don’t have any Simon Cowells as judges and I make it clear to my judges that I don’t want any of that stuff.”

He said that the contest will have three judges judging each performer, but due to time constraints, only one judge will speak per turn. The judges will alternate speaking, thus each judge will speak once every three singers. The judges will try to give helpful feedback to help the singers identify strengths and even weaknesses but not insulting or demeaning criticism.

“Some of my singers may be strong on the high end and not so strong on the low end, so my judges might point out that (the singer’s) high end is definitely a stronger point than the low end and the singer may need to work on the low end a little bit,” Gorham gave as an example.

Focusing on a song that would accentuate their really strong high end would give them a better score, thus song selection for the singers is very important.

Gorham encourages the singers to come to the audition prepared with a song that best fits their vocal range to achieve the best possible result.

The auditions are free of charge. For further details, please go to his website at

Gorham said that judges for the contest wouldn’t be local but rather from out of town to eliminate any possible perception of bias.

“The contest is all about enjoying the wonderful local talent, and allowing them to showcase themselves to Grand Forks. The winner will win some prizes, and will move on to a regional contest, but I hope that all singers, and the entire audience will have a night out that will be wonderful and memorable” he added.

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