Some local musicians had an exciting weekend at the Port Alberni Fall Fair.
Among them was local singer, songwriter and performer Shelley Beeston, who was part of a great line-up of entertainers on the main stage.
She also was instrumental in bringing in some new acts for the Vancouver Island Star Search which took place September 6-7.
Presented by Beeston, who teaches music at The Soundgarden in Coombs, and Revolution Productions, the talent showcase saw a dozen musicians from Vancouver Island perform over two days at the fair.
Beeston said she and Port Alberni musician Lance Lapointe have been talking about doing something to promote young musicians on the Island and they came up with the idea of a contest together.
“It was a grand idea and it came out great,” she said, adding they hope to do it every year.
Beeston is the powerful vocalist with the band Baby Jane and also provides vocal lessons and coaching at the Soundgarden.
One of her students is Tyrell Beal of Qualicum Beach. Beal was among the 12 talented performers who impressed the judges and came in third place.
Back in July, the former KSS grad placed second in the Qualicum’s Got Talent contest at Beach Day in Qualicum Beach.
In Saturday’s competition, the 19 year-old played some original songs on his guitar including one instrumental piece.
He said he was pleased to make the top three and plans to keep plugging away on his music.
“I have been playing half my life and a career in music would be ideal … so I will be working on my music over the next year,” he said.
Judges for the talent show included Errington musician Gerry Barnum, Larry Hovind (co-owner of Revolution Productions) and Paul Robertson, executive director for Funtastic Events.
Beeston said it was a very close contest with so much amazing talent.
“I was impressed with all of the talent. Everyone was professional … they showed up on time and it went on without a hitch … it was incredible,” she said.
There was a first place tie between Alex Wicket of Nanaimo, who is a student of Beeston’s, and nine-year-old Lauren Spencer Smith of Port Alberni, who thoroughly impressed Beeston.
“She is only nine years old but has the voice of a 30 year old. She was amazing … she blew my mind.”
Second place went to Celeste Gendron Walmsley from Nanaimo.
The first prize included a one-to-three-song, fully-produced, mixed and mastered demo by Lapointe at his Revolution Productions, including an upload to iTunes as well as bookings and artist development at The Soundgarden with Beeston. Added to the kitty at the last minute was a song-writing session with talented blues man Barnum.
The winners will not only be able to record their demo, they will also have the opportunity to perform as featured artists at the 2014 Okee Dokee/Funtastic Music Festival in Port Alberni.
Second prize included a lesson with Lapointe, a gig package from Alberni Pawn and one lesson from Beeston at The Soundgarden.
Beal earned $50 for his third place win.