LEWISTON — Stephanie Gelinas believes Maine’s well of musical talent — singers, dancers and instrumentalists — thrives in anonymity.

Some need only a stage, a spotlight or a microphone.

“I do believe that there is more talent out there,” Gelinas said. And she’s hoping to meet those talents.

On Jan. 25, a fundraiser for her nonprofit organization, Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services in Lewiston, will hold auditions for its third annual “Maine’s Got Talent” show. Auditions will be from 9 a.m. to noon at Community Little Theatre, 30 Academy St., Auburn.

It’s an open call, meaning anyone with a song to sing or a tune to play can show up and audition for members of Sandcastle’s fundraising committee.

Gelinas’ aim is to get a crowd of auditioners, the top 10 of whom will be slated to perform in the talent competition’s evening show. It is scheduled for March 8 at the Ramada Inn in Lewiston.

Like the TV show, “America’s Got Talent,” it features an emcee, celebrity judges and prizes. The top award is $750. Second place receives $500 and third earns $250.

Last year, about a dozen acts auditioned, Gelinas said.

“We never get as many as we want,” she said. “We had maybe a couple of people that we turned away.”

Yet, the talent has been extraordinary, said Gelinas and her judges.

Shannon Selig, the show’s 2012 winner, has since moved to Nashville and has begun her own label, Blue Chicory Records. She’s opened for country music diva Martina McBride.

Last year’s winner, Marissa Sheltra, was similarly extraordinary, said Chip Morrison, who is scheduled to judge his third contest in March.

“You need to get out of here and go to Broadway,” said Morrison, who has performed in many Community Little Theatre productions. “She is as talented a singer and performer as I have ever seen. And I have seen a lot.”

Sheltra teaches in Scarborough.

“She would have made it,” said Morrison, president of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce. “She’s that good. As far as I’m concerned, she was a lock. “

Last year’s second-place performers, the Veayo Twins, also are doing well.

Katherine and Kristen Veayo, 18, of Hallowell, were recently nominated by the New England Music Awards for a second “Best in State” award.

The young women, seniors at Hall-Dale High School in Farmingdale, said they enjoyed the show, particularly since it raised money for Sandcastle, which helps people with speech problems, among other services.

“We both stutter sometimes,” Katherine said, her speech pausing slightly. “We were pulled out of our classes in school and made fun of because of that.”

The twins have played anti-bullying shows in schools among a concert slate that has included performances at Club Texas in Auburn and last year’s Great Falls Balloon Festival

“Sandcastle might have helped us,” Katherine said.

The twins liked meeting the other musicians and the judges. This year’s judges include DJ Celeste from WBLM radio and Community Little Theatre veteran Mitch Thomas. It will be emceed by writer Molly McGill. Last year, McGill judged and Thomas emceed.

“They were sweet and funny and outgoing,” Katherine Veayo said.

The event is a pleasure to judge, Morrison said.

“I worry about doing a good job, but it’s fun,” he said. “And the evening is remarkable. I get real close to people doing a great job.”

For more information about the event, go to www.sandcastlemaine.org. People may audition in person or submit a video for consideration.

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For more information about “Maine’s Got Talent,” go to www.sandcastlemaine.org. You can audition in person or submit a video.

For more information about “Maine’s Got Talent,” go to www.sandcastlemaine.org. You can audition in person or submit a video.


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