Finalists announced for Downtown Sounds Teen Idol

Village Square in downtown Glen Cove was abuzz on Wednesday, May 18, as 10 talented teenagers competed to be the first Downtown Sounds Teen Idol. From original songs to covers, the teens performed live for the second round of the contest in front of three music industry judges. Friends, family and supporters gathered in the square to listen as the teens showcased their skills.

“This year, the Glen Cove Downtown BID is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Downtown Sounds,” Patricia Holman, executive director of the Downtown BID said, “and we thought, what better way to celebrate this milestone than to include the youth of our community in our celebration.”

Open to ages 13 to 18, contestants first submitted an audition video, and those selected were asked to prepare for the live performance. A total of six finalists were chosen and will perform during the preshow of the Downtown Sounds concert series this July. Each week, with the community’s help, the judges will determine who will go to the next round, until a winner emerges after the fifth concert. The winner will receive $750 and a two-hour session at Tiki Recording Studios.

The six finalists selected are: Lexi Briones, 13, of Glen Cove; Jaida Ciampi, 15, of Glen Cove; Mae Curiale, 14, of Sea Cliff; Delilah McAuliffe, 13, of Sea Cliff; Michael Renga, 14, of Glen Cove; and Shye Roberts, 15, of Glen Cove.

The contest judges are Eddie Profet, a professional musician who plays bass guitar and is currently a member of five bands, including The Doobie Others; Lou-Ann Thompson, vice president of the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District, who began playing guitar when she was 14 and has sung and played guitar in several bands over the years; and Fred Guarino, owner of Tiki Recording Studios in Glen Cove and chair of the Downtown Sounds Committee.

“The Teen Idol contest proved to be a huge success as some of the finest young artists performed their hearts out for us,” Thompson said. “I was filled with awe as I watched them each take the microphone and belt out an arrangement of their choice. I was not only ‘wow-ed’ by their incredible vocals, but they each had a different musical style and approach to their creativity. I am humbled by the singer-songwriters most especially as writing lyrics is my first love. It was nice to hear their vocals clearly and not mumble or overtaken by the music. What a terrific display of creativity and confidence. I am looking forward to following their progress during the concert series.”

According to Profet, choosing the finalists was not an easy decision. “It was hard to choose and we pored over it for a long time, even referring to the video footage. There really is a lot of talent here; they all had great song choices and were so confident, with strong stage presence. I’m looking forward to seeing them all again and to see them show off their versatility.”

“I was amazed at the level of talent and artistry right here in our local area,” Guarino said. “It really exceeded my expectations. Even though this was a competition event, the night was quite entertaining. We as judges had a very difficult time choosing the top performers. All of the kids were that good. They are all winners! Bravo!”