RUMFORD — The eighth annual Voices of the Valley singing competition will kick off at 6 p.m. March 8 at the Mountain Valley High School.
According to event organizer Diane Mitchell, there will be three categories: youth, teen and adult.
The “duet” category added last year has been removed, she said Monday.
“The judges told me after last year’s competition that the category is extremely hard to judge. One issue that some of the judges were running into was that it was hard to judge participants who signed up for the individual category and the duet category separately,” she said. “They had a hard time judging their singing separately. I appreciated the judges’ honesty in telling me that. As a result, we’re going to stick to the three categories.”
Mitchell said singers who won in one category in previous years will not be eligible to sign up for the same category, but will be allowed to sing as a guest performer or sign up under a different category.
“We have some teens who will be moving up to the adult stage, so it’s exciting to see,” she said.
The judges’ table will also be repositioned, she said.
“In the past, the judges would sit on the stage while the singers perform, but we received suggestions from some people who think sitting more toward the middle provides a different sound, and allows the judges to see the faces of the singers,” she said.
Mitchell said a couple of the judges from last year will not be able to return due to prior engagements. She said she hopes to have a panel solidified within the next week or so.
There is a $5 admission fee. Singers pay $10 to register. All proceeds will go toward the River Valley Relay for Life team, Mitchell said.
“When we first started this competition, the whole idea was to raise money for a lady who was diagnosed with cancer,” Mitchell said. “After that, we donated proceeds to the Cancer Action Network, a sister organization of the American Cancer Society. Later, proceeds went to the River Valley Relay for Life team. We try to bounce back and forth between different organizations and spread the money around.”
Mitchell said Kris Howes, owner of Ink Maine and the captain of a local Relay for Life team, will host a chili/chowder cookout prior to the competition.
“Normally, those two events are held separately, but we decided to put them together this year,” she said.
Applications for the competition can be picked up at Davis Florist on Congress Street.
For more information, call 357-8621 or 357-5606.