WASHINGTON – The National Cherry Blossom Festival is months away,and organizers are already singing with tones of excitement.
The Atlas Performing Arts Center was decorated in pink Tuesday in preparation for the “Sing into Spring” competition.
Twenty-nine finalists sang for the chance to perform at the April 11 parade.
Diana Mayhew,the National Cherry Blossom Festival president,said this is the second year for the competition that gives local performers a chance to participate in the festival.
“We are a Washington,D.C.,area hometown community event,community tradition and want to engage the local residents to be a part of it,” Mayhew said.
The wide range of performers,the youngest was 10,were backed up by music or sang a cappella.
Finalists were chosen from YouTube videos submitted to the festival’s channel.
Groups and soloists had a minute and a half to hit a high note and show the judges their talent. Competitors were divided into categories by group or solo act,age and gender.
Judges picked seven pitch perfect acts at the end of the night to sing at the parade.
Adrienne Neal,managing director of Sopranessence,said the festival gives the group a chance to showcase its rebranding.
“We got that sassy vibe,and we worked it,” Neal said after the competition.
Washington native Raheem DeVaughn,a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter,hosted the competition.
The National Cherry Blossom Festival begins March 20,the first day of spring.
Reach reporter Tori Knueven at [email protected] or 202-408-1492. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire. Like the Scripps Howard Foundation Wire interns on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.