Stalking the Musical Genius

By Paul Moffett

Original music of great variety that defies categorization will predominate in the semi-finals in Pizza Hut's New Sounds '91 Awards Competition for Original Music. Chairman of Judging Pat Lentz and crew have narrowed the field to eight acts, from a total of one hundred and sixty submissions.

Four of the semi-finalists are from Louisville, two are from New York, one is from Pennsylvania and one from Massachusetts.

Louisville willl be represented by Michael Medley's rock opera; Steven Skaggs' graphic light show, and by two rock groups, Lemonade Hayride and Oblong Box.

Of the two New York entries, one, Ronn Yedidia, is a piano soloist and composer working on his doctorate at the Juilliard School of Music. The other New York entry is Brian Charles and the Brian Charles Group, which uses both electronic and acoustic instruments.

From Brookline, Massachusetts, will come the duo Acousticity, comprised of Thomas Young and Erik Ringstad. Their music mixes elements of bluegrass, jazz, folk, new age, blues and funk.

From Montrose, Pennsylvania, Warren Furman will present an electronic classical piece never previously performed.

Those eight acts will compete live, in front of a panel of judges, at the Vogue Theater on two consecutive nights, December 26 and 27.

In addition to the live music, those in the audience will get to watch two or three music-oriented movies. Scheduled to be shown on Wednesday, December 26, are the Band's The Last Waltz and U-2: Rattle and Hum. On Thursday, December 27, Stop Making Sense, and Pink Floyd: The Wall. The $5 admission price includes the live performances and the movies

Four finalists will be chosen to perform at the finals on January 18, competing for the $3,000 first place award. Celebrity judges have been selected to judge the finals. Ticket prices are $6 for general admission and $131 for Patrons. Patron tickets will include a cocktail buffet, valet parking, reserved seating and an entry in a drawing for two to fly anywhere in the continental United States where Delta Airlines flies.

Because the judges were astounded at the quality of the music submitted, the decision was made to award New Sounds '91 Merit Finalist Certificates to the next top twenty of the 161 entrants. The names will be announced on Thursday, December 27, and the certificates will be awarded on January 18, just prior to the announcement of the Grand Prize winner.

The competition was originated by St. Francis High School to raise funds for its scholarship program. All proceeds from the New Sounds '91 Awards Competition for Original Music, sponsored by Pizza Hut, will go to St. Francis High School to fund scholarships.