So you think you can sing... or beatbox? 

The Whistler Music Search returns to The Crystal Lounge to find the best local performer

click to enlarge PHOTO  BY JOERN ROHDE/JOERNROHDE.COM - music searchA band plays their heart out on The Crystal Lounge stage during the 2010 Whistler Music Search.
  • Photo by Joern Rohde/joernrohde.com
  • music searchA band plays their heart out on The Crystal Lounge stage during the 2010 Whistler Music Search.

The search is on for Whistler's best musical performer and it might be you.

Well, statistically speaking, it probably isn't, but they say you never know unless you try, right?

Either way, you'll have a great time shaking off your stage fright, checking out other local talent and giving it a shot. "As much as we use the word competition, it's fun," says Jono Young from The Crystal Lounge, where the fourth annual Whistler Music Search will take place every Thursday from Oct. 3 to Oct. 24. "We're there for people to be able to put on a show and enjoy themselves. We're only looking for two or three songs. No one is going to get pulled off stage. It's a great event. People are going to look up there and say, 'Wow, Whistler has some great talent.'"

Different musicians will climb up on stage to perform for judges — and hopefully a large crowd — every Thursday until the final round on Oct. 24. Young is one of the judges, along with a few others yet to be finalized. They will be looking at three categories, including presentation, originality and crowd response. Local musician and regular performer at The Crystal Lounge, Jon Shrier, will be hosting.

Ideally, they would like to have three to five performers each night. Musicians can register up until the last qualifying round Oct. 17 at The Crystal. The winner will get studio recording time with Bunker 7 Productions in Pemberton while the runner-up will receive a Takamine electric/acoustic guitar with a hard case.

"We're looking for somebody that puts on a polished act and really engages the crowd," Young says. "Whether it be with an original song or a cover. It's not all about friends cheering for their friends, but if you can capture an audience. You can look around the room and tell if someone is engaged or not. We're just looking for the best live performer."

As a bonus, if any of the entrants catch the ear of the judges they could wind up with winter gigs at The Crystal as well. "We find the jam (on Sunday nights at The Crystal) in conjunction with this event is a good stepping stone for people to play around town," Young says.

Performers don't have to strum a guitar to compete either, he adds. Everything from full bands to beat boxing is welcome as well. He recalls one year when a performer took a hit from a helium balloon to sing a high-pitched version of Blind Melon's "No Rain."

"It came off amazing," he says. "He put on a great performance."

The ultimate goal, Young says, is to help encourage budding local musicians. "We think there's an amazing local music scene," he says. "Each year we want to support these musicians and encourage local musicians to get on stage and show us what they've got."

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