There were only four of them but then, hey, it takes a lot to bare your soul for the judges and the crowd.
Jaclyn Childs, Naomi Davies, Adam Townsend and Patrick Dixon took up the challenge and entered the singer/songwriter competition at Duncan Has Talent, worked during the week with mentors Laura Cardriver, Bill Levity and Mary Egan-Popovich and, finally, battled it out for the prizes on the CUPE stage at The 39 Days of July on Friday, July 24.
On introducing the event, Longevity John Falkner, thanked the Lions Club of Duncan for stepping up with bursaries for the under 21 competitors and urged members of the crowd to write in and thank them personally for an effort that’s helping young people keep going with their training.
Then, he reminded both the judges — Cardriver and Egan-Popovich on Friday — and the crowd that being a good singer/songwriter was about more than just the delivery: it was also about the song.
Cardriver reiterated that in her brief opening comment, but before the contestants took the stage she also thanked Falkner for his “constant, unflinching support of young talent” saying that “it’s tough to make a beginning in this field” and that his offering them a stage was really beneficial.
“We have four young people here who all have gifts. So much goes into songwriting. It includes the performance but also the craft of the song, if you can connect with the audience.”
Egan-Popovich said she was looking for “something that would move me. Also structure: did you throw a bridge in there?”
As in previous Duncan Has Talent sessions, Cardriver also reminded the performers that the judges would also be looking to see if they had taken the advice they’d been given, adding finally that “they all deserve credit for putting themselves on parade.”
Dixon was the winner, performing Song from My Head as well as Alien Prison Break from his soon-to-be-released EP.
In second place was Townsend, with The Sum of All High Hopes and The Fear I Never Realize.
Third spot went to Davies with Chasing Rainbows and Waiting while Childs finished fourth with Standing in the Road and Affected.
Cardriver praised Dixon as an easy first place choice, telling the crowd of his growth during the week of mentoring as well as his words and diction.
“You’re clearly standing in your own destiny,” she said.
Note: in next week’s last event of Duncan Has Talent for 2015, the over-21 performers take to the stage and Cardriver said there are already entries in all three disciplines: dance, cover/show tunes and singer/songwriter so expect a very special event at Charles Hoey Park Friday, July 31 starting at 5 p.m.