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Six finalists will be chosen to compete at May 8 & 9 concerts; one winner each night to perform with The Contours and DPO

Dayton, Ohio (May 4, 2009) – In celebration of The Contours’ upcoming visit to Dayton and their performance at the National City SuperPops Series, eleven singers chosen on April 23 will return to Therapy Café on Thursday, May 7th, auditioning for The Contours themselves, again in a karaoke setting. Therapy Café opens at 4:00 pm and The Contours and semi-finalists arrive for a brief mix-n-mingle, after which (starting at or around 7:30) “The Eleven” will audition. The storied Motown artists will select six finalists from the eleven semi-finalists. The six finalists will be announced that evening. Two teams will be revealed: three singers to appear on stage Friday night and three on Saturday night. All six finalists will rehearse with The Contours and the DPO early Friday, May 8th. The Contours will sign glossy photos and CDs of their greatest hits during the Thursday night event.

Each concert evening, one of the teams will appear at the beginning of the concert to perform for that evening’s National City SuperPops audience. Each singer will perform a verse with The Contours’ Music Director Glen Raby at keyboard. The audience will be provided with ballots in their program books and will cast them for their favorites at intermission. Ultimately, two winners will perform the Motown classic tune I Heard it Through the Grapevine on stage with The Contours featuring Sylvester Potts and the full Dayton Philharmonic; one winner to perform on Friday night, May 8 and one on Saturday night, May 9. 

The search for these two Motown Idols started with a karaoke performance contest and party April 23 at Therapy Café, 452 East Third Street. Doors opened at 4:00 pm, and the registration to compete started at 6:00 pm with the competition starting around 8:00 pm. Dwaine Wheeler, Therapy Café’s Music Director and Nancy Sell of Nancy’s Karaoke managed the event.

DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman headed the local judging panel tasked with winnowing the evening’s 49 contestants down to 11 semi-finalists. The judges evaluated the contestants on vocal quality, presentation, and audience reaction. The 11 semi-finalists (and the songs they performed) are:
* Nina Cooper, 70, Dayton, retired (Midnight Train to Georgia)
* Paul King Latham, Jr., 37, Dayton, schoolteacher (Ribbon in the Sky)
* Tennille Carpenter, 32, Dayton, independent contractor (Papa Was a Rolling Stone)
* Yolanda Drake, 46, Dayton, family self-sufficiency coordinator (Neither One of Us)
* Tony Cavaletti, 32, Dayton, laborer (Overjoyed)
* Brandon Harvey, 38, Huber Heights, heat-treat assistant (Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing)
* Abi Cook, 23, Kettering, full-time musician (Midnight Train to Georgia)
* April Amissah-Aidoo, 35, Dayton, customer service/sales rep (The House That Jack Built)
* Carl King, 50, Dayton, PM dietary manager (All Is Fair in Love)
* Janel Harrington, 36, Xenia, student (Neither One of Us)
* Lindsay Nutter, 25, Springboro, high school relations coordinator (A Natural Woman).

On Wednesday, April 29 at 6:30pm, Marina Miller gave the semi-finalists a tour of the Mead Theatre at the Schuster Center. She showed the artists around the Theatre and took them on – and behind – stage.

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About The Contours

The Contours have proudly worn the label “Motown’s #1 party group” for more than 40 years. Today under the leadership of Sylvester Potts, who sang on virtually every charted recording, The Contours are center stage once again. Much of the resurgence in The Contours popularity has to do with the Academy Award winning film, Dirty Dancing. Their hit  Do You Love Me (Now That I Can Dance) was featured in the film and became so popular that it gave birth to an international tour entitled The Dirty Dancing Tour starring The Contours, Bill Medley, Merry Clayton and Eric Carmen. That tour lasted 10 months, played to over 2 million people in 8 countries, and sold over 10 million copies of More Dirty Dancing before it ceased production. During this time, Motown Records was quick to capitalize on The Contours popularity by reissuing their original version of Do You Love Me in single and album form. It was a move paid great dividends for everyone involved: Do You Love Me climbed to #11 on the national charts, making it one of the few recordings in history to hit the top 20 in two different decades!

For photographs of Neal Gittleman, the Dayton Philharmonic or any of the various series’ guest artists, visit:

About the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra (DPO) is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the community. DPO performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra receives partial funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.

Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
Performance Place at the Schuster Center ~ 109 North Main Street, Suite 200 ~ Dayton, Ohio 45402
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