Giving kids and young adults an outlet to nurture their passions is so important. One such opportunity is coming to the Westchester for those who love to perform and sing with first annual Tri-State Rocks performance at The Capital Theater. This benefit concert will give young vocalists, ages 12-21, the opportunity to show off their talent in front of a panel of judges and industry executives, including Z100 radio personality Maxwell, and judges include former American Idol judge and industry aficionado Kara DioGuardi, Pete Ganbarg, head of A&R at Atlantic Records, and Leslie Stifelman, the Conductor and Musical Director for the award-winning Broadway production, Chicago.
The event also has an incredible charitable component where all proceeds will support Kids In Crisis, ArtWorks, and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). Kids In Crisis provides counseling, intervention, shelter, and education to children and teens in Connecticut facing crises.
To learn more about the concert and how kids and young adults can enter, we spoke with Kara DioGuardi. Read on to learn more about Kara, plus how to enter and attend this exciting local event.
Interview with Kara DioGuardi
Weekend Jaunts: We are so excited for Tri-State rocks! What makes a standout performance to you?
Kara DioGuardi: A standout performance is when an artist performs a song in a unique way but is also emotionally connected to it. I like to feel that the vocalist is telling his or her story in an authentic way. And of course, they have to have a great voice and stage presence!
Weekend Jaunts: Do you think a contestant should go with a “safe” song or go with something that’s out of their comfort zone?
Kara DioGuardi: I think they should go out of their comfort zone if it means delivering an authentic performance. Sometimes being vulnerable is the scariest part but the most brilliant part too.
Weekend Jaunts: Can you tell us more about the charities the event will support?
Kara DioGuardi: Yes, here’s more: All proceeds from the event will support Kids In Crisis, ArtWorks, and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). Kids In Crisis provides counseling, intervention, shelter, and education to children and teens in Connecticut facing crises. ArtWorks brings preforming arts to children and young adults facing life-threatening illnesses via workshops and performances. Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital provides children and their families with lifesaving and life-changing services, many of which are found nowhere else in the region.
Weekend Jaunts: Why was this competition important for you to be a part of?
Kara DioGuardi: We created Tri State Rocks to highlight youth talent while putting a spotlight on youth need. I believe our younger generation has a lot to say and our show is a platform for them to voice their opinions and share their talent in order to help those in their generation who are facing challenges. If we are going to benefit from youth talent we should be giving back to youth in need.
Weekend Jaunts: What advice would you give to a contestant that is scared or has stage fright?
Kara DioGuardi: Keep performing and facing your fear because the more you do it the less debilitating your fear will be.
Weekend Jaunts: We would love to hear more about you! What else are you working on now?
Kara DioGuardi: I am teaching at Berklee College of Music as a visiting scholar. I also am involved in my publishing company Arthouse Publishing and we publish Jon Bellion (Monster/Eminem, trumpets jason derulo and all time low (his own song) and other writers who are having chart success. I also recently bought a restaurant and we are in the process of renovating it which is super fun and creative. And, of course, I am spending much of my time on my non profit Inspired Nation which puts on New England Sings and Tri State Rocks.
Weekend Jaunts: What is the songwriting process like for you?
Kara DioGuardi: songwriting process for me always starts from a place of truth. I tend to write about my own feelings and what I have been through.
Ready to enter the Tri-State Rocks contest?
Entries will be open for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents ages 12-21 from October 20 through November 20. Originals and covers are welcome. Submissions must be an individual performance and shouldn’t exceed 90 seconds.
Tri-State rocks will take place at The Capitol Theatre on Sunday, December 3 at 5:30PM, with doors opening at 4:45PM for a pre-show with local DJs the Vargas Brothers.
For more details and to enter the competition, please visit www.tristaterocks.org/contestants.