Plus, local musicians and DJs can create free band pages on AC Weekly's Local Music Guide
The original motion picture Fame has perhaps the most in-depth, most personal, most brazenly raw and dark depiction of what life is like for an artist. Fame captures those seconds, minutes and hours before artists walk on stage. It explores the audition process for the students of New York’s School of Performing Arts, then continues through each of the students’ ninth-through-12th grade years and ends with the final graduation performance that merges the talents of all of the students still left standing at the end of the film.
Almost since the first trailer for Fame was released, however, music teachers have criticized the film for not giving a “realistic view” of a performing arts school. I spoke with a few students at ChARTer Tech High School for the Performing Arts in Somers Point to discuss what it takes to make it as a vocal student.
Lizzy Moore, who will be a senior in September, says, “no matter who told me I could sing before, I couldn’t really sing until I came to ChARTer Tech and studied with Miss Showers. Miss Showers takes us through our breathing exercises — which are not fun — and warms up our voices.”
Sarah Wallen agrees. “I transferred from a normal high school,” she says, “so I knew I had talent [but] I did not know the amount of work I would have to put in to be a successful vocal student here.”
Terri Showers is part of a top-notch faculty at ChARTer Tech, that has produced top entertainment professionals in vocal music, instrumental music, dance and stage, screen and film. Showers spoke with me about successfully auditioning for ChARTer Tech. She said that first you have to prepare your mind as well as your voice.
“There is a difference between knowing how to sing and studying music,” she explains. “Here you will have to learn music theory, you will have to learn music history. Here you will go beyond the eight blocks of your neighborhood and understanding. If you love to sing gospel, you will also learn to sing opera, country and rock. You may never learn to like that music, but you will learn to respect what these vocalists do.”
Here are three tips Showers offers about preparing for an audition at ChARTer Tech — or any school where vocal discipline is studied.
First, read the audition requirements, as Showers says that each school is different. Second, be prepared, and third, choose a song that means something to you — a song you care about and can sing well.
Additionally, here are four tips for students who will be incoming freshmen at ChARTer Tech Performing Arts High School offered by Showers.
First, live life beyond your “eight blocks,” as the world is bigger than what you know. Second, the world has many different people in it. Learn to respect them all.
Third, every person — ChARTer Tech student or otherwise — should experience the symphony, the opera, the ballet, and a Broadway musical at least once. And lastly, preparation and hard work will make more of a difference in your success than you think it does. You may not see or hear it when you come in, but by the time you leave you will appreciate it.
This week’s “Music Beat” pick: ChARTer Tech students Lizzy Moore and Sarah Wallen performing a cover of Adele’s “Daydreamer” on YouTube — it’s fantastic.
ACWeekly.com’s ‘Local Music Guide’ Growing
I often check acweekly.com’s “Local Music Guide” to discover new artists and to write about some of them here in this space — and to add to my radio show play list. So, as a reminder, if you are a DJ, band, vocalist or play a mean set of spoons, be sure to go to acweekly.com, click on Arts & Entertainment, and then Local Music Guide and set up your free music page. We need everyone to sign up for the Local Music Guide, which enables users to update their gig schedules, upload songs, photos and even video. I am presently, however, looking hard for great country-and-western and classical artists. I am looking for all kinds of a great music to profile and recommend. Invite me to your live show, send me your music, or reach out to me at Rtyler@acweekly.com.
Raymond Tyler hosts the Alternative Soul Sunday Breakfast Club radio show each Sunday from 7–8am on 96.1FM WTTH - The Touch.
When it comes to southern New Jersey in the summer, the most plentiful freebie out there is music. Hey, even the sand and the surf aren’t free in most beach towns. But thanks to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the Somers Point bay beaches and other spots around the region, there’s never a shortage of free concerts to enjoy.
The truth is, our region has been a live-music mecca since the early 1900s, when cats like Eubie Blake and Eddie Cantor hung out for summers and performed at local clubs. Decades later the Atlantic City jazz scene was as hot as they come, with internationally heralded performers from Billy Eckstine and Louis Armstrong playing residencies at some of the hottest clubs on the East Coast, namely the venues on Atlantic City’s fabled Kentucky Avenue — all of them are gone now — including the Club Harlem.
The guide is destined to soon become the place for local booking agents and promoters to check out local bands and listen to songs and watch video.
"The Local Music Guide is a great idea. I believe it’s very important for the musicians to work together and support each other, rather than just protect their own ‘piece of the pie.’ The South Jersey music scene seems to be growing stronger and stronger, and hopefully this guide will make it easier for all involved — clubs, fans and musicians alike — to continue that growth and bring back the ‘glory days’ once more.”
In addition to the original artwork on its walls, and original Cajun fare found in few other bistros this far north, the House of Blues restaurant now offers original and replicated contemporary musi...
Casino Club & Lounge Entertainment
A Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness
A Lavish ‘Gatsby’
Laughing with George Lopez