Pizza Hut New Sounds '91

Awards Competition for Original Music sponsored by St. Francis High School

By Paul Moffett

The Pizza Hut New Sounds '91 competition has a simple purpose: find a musical genius and award him or her $3,000 for a brilliant piece of work.

At least, that's the long range goal of the competition, according to Jane Emke, chairperson of the committee that is overseeing the competition. Barring the discovery of a present-day Mozart, mere mortals can enter the competition to win the $3,000 prize.

Established this year as a fund-raising effort and a publicity vehicle for St. Francis High School, the competition is open to composers and performers of original music of all genres, including rock, rap, reggae, country, jazz, R&B, chamber and orchestral music. The competition is open to musicians of any age and from anywhere. Musicians may perform solo or with any number of other players.

The submitted pieces must have been written between October 15, 1988 and October 15, 1990 and must be performed by the composer.

Contestants must pay a $10 fee per entry and submit a 15-minute tape of their composition by November 1, 1990, together with a completed entry form. Semifinalists will perform their work in December. From that performance, four finalists will be selected and they will perform their compositions in January at Memorial Auditorium. Hosting the finals will be Bob Guccione Jr., publisher of Spin magazine.

The head judge for the competition is Rebecca Blake, nationally noted music videographer and music-industry photographer. Blake has shot album covers for such notables as Grace Jones, Duran Duran and Julian Lennon and music videos for Prince and Sheena Easton.

Besides Blake, judges include Pbnoted Louisville jazz guitarist; Bill Porter, President of Allen-Martin Productions and legendary pioneer audio engineer; Nick Stevens, chief engineer at Allen-Martin; Dallas Embry, chairman of programming for Louisville Homefront Performances; Louisville musician Reid Jahn; Mark Smalley, owner of Uncle Pleasant's; Howie Gano, engineer for Sound on Sound at Mom's; Cary Willis, host of The Flip Side on WFPL; Maurice Harrod and Carlos Rowlett of WLOU; Jill Laurens of WDJX; Duke Meyer of WQMF; and Dr. Fred Speck, composer and professor at the University of Louisville.

All proceeds from the contest will go to the St. Francis High School scholarship fund. Pizza Hut has donated $10,000 to St. Francis High School for the development of new music and the scholarship fund. The contest is not limited to high school students.