UNCG Sapphires’ harmonious voices win Triad Idol
Full of song, dance and a feuding club director and cheerleading coach, Fox’s “Glee” has been a hit since its first airing in 2009, and jumping on the TV series’ popularity was Community Theatre of Greensboro with their new addition of a CT-Glee division in its 2011 Triad Idol competition.
The winner of the first-ever Glee competition was announced at the final event Sunday, March 20 at Carolina Theatre, and it was UNCG Sapphires, an all-female a capella group, that took home the trophy and made Triad Idol history with their winning performance of “Beautiful Liar,” “Center of Attention” and “Rockin’ Robin.”
“I don’t think that I was exactly sure that this was the first one ever,” said Sapphire Kristen Prosser, “and then [the announcer] said we were the first CT-Glee winners ever, and I got really excited.” It was Sapphire Martika Clark who discovered the new competition and suggested the Sapphires compete. “I had seen it on their website because I keep up with Triad Idol stuff,” Clark said, “and then we got an e-mail about it in our inbox and I was like, ‘We should do this. It’ll be fun.’” “We figured it’d be a good chance to give the new girls a dip in the water,” Prosser added. All finalists — 36 individuals and six ensembles — were judged by a panel of four judges who evaluated contestants’ singing ability, vocal style and stage presence. Serving as the fifth judge and accounting for 20 percent of each contestant’s score, was the audience who paid $1 per vote.
“The 2011 finalists — in all categories — exhibited great poise and stage presence and put on a wonderful show,” said Mitchel Sommers, executive director of CTG and presenter at Triad Idol. “I hope that we see all the finalists at auditions for upcoming CTG productions; we would be proud to cast them.” Winners received a trophy and prize package including $500 cash, a paid contract to perform at Castle McCulloch’s Christmas Castle, a professional headshot photograph from Micciche Photography, the opportunity to sing in the Triad Idol Showcase at Greensboro’s 2011 Fun Fourth festival and coupons for summer camps and classes. CTG has hosted its fundraising competition for seven successful years, but was looking to add something new for 2011.
“After last year’s final event, all of us who organize Triad Idol got together to talk about what we could do to inject even more excitement into this great program,” said Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh of the CTG Board of Directors. “Of course, we got off the subject for a few minutes and we started talking about the ‘Glee’ phenomenon and how great ‘Glee’ was for kids who enjoy singing and performing.
“And bang. It hit us. People have asked us for years if they could enter Triad Idol with their friends. And we’ve always answered that Triad Idol is an individual competition. By adding a Glee — or ‘CT-Glee’ — to Triad Idol, we could capture a whole different group of performers: those who love singing as part of an ensemble.”
The fate of future CT-Glee competitions has yet to be determined, but Schaffner-Mosh says she believes this year’s addition was a success. “We haven’t had a chance to debrief yet, but I think it was very success- ful in drumming up excitement from different folks across the Triad.”
Besides digging up the Triad’s talent gems, Triad Idol also plays a vital role in fundraising for CTG — especially in a time when arts funding and donations has decreased with the economy. “Ticket sales for our traditional main-stage shows do not cover our costs,” Schaffner-Mosh said. “CTG, like most other arts groups, must undertake a variety of fundraisers to provide the level of programming our community needs and wants.”
Next up for CTG is their production of Hairspray, the 1960s-styled musical comedy about a plump teenager who dreams of dancing on “The Corny Collins Show.” “Hairspray is going to be phenomenal,” Schaffner-Mosh said.
“Several of our Triad Idol finalists, including Bobby Pittman, first runner-up in the Adult category, and members of CT-Glee ensembles, are in it. Add to that the fact that CTG Executive Director Mitchel Sommers is directing, and you have a wonderful recipe for an amazing show.”
CTG presents Hairspray at Carolina Theatre, 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro, April 8-17. Tickets are $10-$30. For tickets and more information visit www.ctgso.org or call 336.333.7470. UNCG Sapphires a capella group performs in concert April 9 at the Elliott University Center. Visit www.uncgsapphires.com for more information.