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Annual SOCAL Singing Competition Kicks off June 14th with Auditions in Orange

SOCAL ICON Singing Contest Back for 7th Year as Past Winners Enjoy Success!

SOCAL ICON, the annual solo vocal competition for aspiring young singers between the ages of 7 and 18, is back for a seventh consecutive year!(

Boasting celebrity and industry judges from television, Broadway, film and recording; the annual singing contest is conducted over a three-month period beginning in June and concluding with final concert event on Saturday, September 6th.

Originally called Inland Idol and OC Idol, SOCAL ICON was designed to be more than just a talent contest. "Our goal was always to give young singers an opportunity to showcase and get constructive feedback from educators and industry professionals in a safe and friendly environment" according to Bruce Sampson, president of ICON Performing Arts (producer of the event.) Our mission statement is "To use the performing arts to positively impact children's lives and that of our communities!"

Several of ICON's past finalists and winners have enjoyed professional success after the contest. They include: Xenia Martinez (top three on NBC's "The Voice"), Arianna Afsar (top 30 on "American Idol" 2009 & Miss California 2010), and Rachel Crowe (top 10 on "The X Factor" and Nickelodeon regular). Last year's winner in the 11-14 age division, Natalia Loya, is currently competing on Telemundo's "La Voz Kids" and credits SOCAL ICON as giving her the start she needed. Noah Urrea, one of last year's finalists, played the role of Bailey opposite Tyler Perry, in the Lionsgate film, A Madea Christmas. Noah performed one of his songs in the film and had it featured on the movie's soundtrack.

There are two opportunities to audition for this year's competition:

• June 14th - The Village at Orange - Orange, CA

• June 28th - South Coast Plaza - Costa Mesa, CA

The semifinals will take place on July 26th at The Music Hall in Orange County and the finals will take place as a red-carpet concert event on Saturday, September 6th at The Margaret A. Webb Theater in Santa Ana. Four celebrity/industry judges and the audience members will all cast votes to choose three winners (one from each age group.)

Past celebrity judges include: Cathy Rigby(Tony award winner and Olympic gymnast), Marc Cherry(creator of "Desperate Housewives", Mark L. Walberg (host of PBS' Antiques Road Show"), and Nia Peeples(actress, recording artists-"Fame", "Pretty Little Liars", "Walker, Texas Ranger").

This year, ICON is proud to welcome some new sponsors to the team who promise to take the contest to another level.

Thomas Barsoe with OC Hit Factory

Thomas Barsoe is a singer/songwriter/producer from Copenhagen, Denmark. After graduating from St. Anne's College of Music and Performing Arts in Denmark, he moved to London. In 2004, he signed a recording contract with music giants EMI, and in 2005 his debut solo album 'Better Man' was released in 21 countries worldwide. 'Better Man' sold over one million copies and reached number one in the charts in Japan, the world's second largest music market. In 2007, his highly anticipated follow-up album, 'Read Between the Lines' was released.
Both his new album and single 'Let the World See I'm Crying' also hit number one on the Japanese charts. In 2011, Thomas Barsoe was nominated for the prestigious 'Freedom To Create' award for his charity single, for the Tsunami victims of Japan, 'If We Stand Together'. His lifelong dream of opening his own music academy dedicated to discovering and developing young singers and songwriters came true in 2010. That dream is now called the OC Hit Factory.

Dani Thompson with DNT Entertainment

Dani Thompson is CEO and VP of A&R for DNT Entertainment. She has been in the music industry since she was a child, and has shared the stage with world renowned artists such as Paul Rodgers & Bad Company, The Steve Miller Band, Etta James, and Lit before she was 18 years old.
Dani obtained a BA from California State University, Fullerton in the spring of 2010, and has been very active in the Los Angeles Entertainment Community for years. During College she worked at CBS in the casting department for The Young & Restless, and has worked on multiple creative projects in a variety of different roles as a Producer, Writer, Director, Host, and Creative Support Specialist.
During her time with DNT, Dani has helped develop and worked on projects with artists such Sean Kingston, Macy Kate, Duets Finalist Jason Farol, Kaitlyn Weathers, Kyle Wesley, Maddy Vance, On Being Human and many other successful independent and signed artists. She is currently working closely with Thomas Barsoe of the OC Hit Factory, scouting talent for Multi- Platinum music producers in OC and LA, and running one of the top boutique entertainment publicity agencies in Orange County.

Cherie Gerena with The OC Music Hall

Cherie is the owner and manager of The OC Music Hall. The Music Hall was designed and built with the latest technology in mind and no expense has been spared. The mission was to establish and offer a full service music institution for aspiring and seasoned artists. Mission accomplished! Professional grade sound engineering boards, state of the art vocal booths and full size stage with truss & lighting will help to enhance all of your performances whether recorded or live. In addition, we offer a wide array of instructional services for all skill sets. Lessons for voice, piano, guitar, bass, percussion and almost all woodwinds and stringed instruments are available. Lessons can be flexible with 30, 45, and 60 minute time slots. "Instructional Sound Engineering" and "Music Theory" classes are also available. The majority of our instructors and teachers are master musicians with decades of experience. All are certified and many are signed, published and/or recorded. Students will enjoy the unique monthly workshops and end of the season teacher / student collaboration performances. The Music Hall and its affiliates have spent decades building a vast network of industry contacts, artists and professionals. The best of our students will gain immediate exposure and will be connected with the people that matter. So stop by or call, tell us a little bit about your passion and we will take care of the rest.

The three winners will each receive identical prize packages including:

1. 1 Fully-Produced, Mixed and Mastered Single with Record
Producer Thomas Barsoe at The OC Hit Factory

2. A recording session with Thomas Barsoe at OC Hit Factory

3. Admission to an OC Hit Factory Songwriting Camp to collaborate
with other signed artists

4. $500 credit to use towards music lessons at OC Music Hall

5. Branding Photo-shoot provided by DNT Entertainment

6. Social Media Branding Package provided by DNT Entertainment

7. Electronic Press Kit provided by DNT Entertainment

8. Booking 1 Sheet provided by DNT Entertainment

9. Potential Artist Management Opportunity ( DNT & OCHF)

10. A Spot on DNT Entertainments' artist booking roster alongside signed artists and past reality singing competition finalists:

11. Trophy (ICON Performing Arts)

Singers can register online at .

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