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a silent salute: The audience "claps" at Joke Night during Deaf Awareness week. Click Arts&Life for a link to story. / Photo by Leah Lopshire

Today's word on journalism

December 15, 2008

As part of my own personal "war on Christmas" (which a Utah state senator has offered legislation to outlaw), the WORD celebrates the season by going on hiatus until January. May all out days be merry and bright, and here’s to a safe, healthy and saner New Year. HoHoHo!

Empty Minds: "Of all the people expressing their mental vacuity, none has a better excuse for an empty head than the newspaperman: If he pauses to restock his brain, he invites onrushing deadlines to trample him flat. Broadcasting the contents of empty minds is what most of us do most of the time, and nobody more relentlessly than I."

--Russell Baker, Pulitzer-winning columnist

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Bestor's Best Singer Search is looking for talent in Logan for second year

November 11, 2008 | Kurt Bestor is bringing "Bestor's Best Singer Search" back to Logan.

In only its second year, the search has become known as Utah's version of American Idol.

The event will take place at Utah State University's Taggart Student Center from noon to 3 p.m. -- or later, depending on turnout -- Nov. 20. Participants do not reserve a time slot; instead, they should show up during the search and wait for their turn to perform.

"Last year we held one of our Singer Search events at Utah State University, and the atmosphere was electric," said Bestor, and Emmy Award-winning composer. "There's a lot of talent in Cache Valley, and I'm anxious to hear them."

Of the five venues where the auditions were held in 2007, USU was the only university selected to host the event. Because of the energy he found in the university setting, he said, he decided to add Utah Valley University in Orem to the list of hosts for this year's competition.

The competition is open to the public with no limits on age.

"We had over 100 singers try out in Logan last year, ranging in age from 6 to 70 years old," said Kevin Raleigh, Bestor's Los Angeles-based agent. "With the growing popularity of the Singer Search competition, we expect even more participants this year."

In addition to Logan, the Singer Search has stops in Provo/Orem, Ogden, Salt Lake City and St. George. Cache Valley is the last stop of the auditions.

"We are really excited to host this event again," said USU student body president Grady Brimley, "and we encourage residents from all over Cache Valley to come and enjoy this great opportunity."

Bestor has a large fan base and his Christmas Concerts entertain more that 20,000 people each year. The winner will perform at Bestor's 20th Annual Christmas Concerts in Abravanel Hall this December. The winner will also have the opportunity to have a recording session with Bestor and travel with him to Los Angeles to meet recording executives.

"I've been in the business a long time," said Bestor. "Of course I listen to voice quality, range and dynamics, but I also observe a singer's stage presence. In other words, can that singer sell the song?"

After the statewide competition concludes in Logan, Bestor will choose three finalists. On Nov. 26 they will appear with Bestor on KSL-TV's Studio 5 between 11 a.m. and noon, where they will sing live. Bestor will then announce the winner on live TV.

Last year's winner, Erica Richardson, enjoyed a career-altering experience.

"Working with Kurt was amazing and educational," Richardson said. "He taught me a lot about the business and about being an artist. Working with him was exciting and inspiring. He truly is a musical genius."

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