MEISA prepares for annual talent showcase

MEISA will hold their annual talent showcase Nov. 13 in the Mane Room.

As the prime time singing competition “The Voice” returns, so does UNA’s own singing showcase.

The Music and Entertainment Industry Student Association will host its fifth annual Talent Showcase Nov. 13 in the Mane Room on Pine Street at 7 p.m.

“I’ve always loved the showcase. But, being in charge of it this year, I’m really excited to see how everything goes over,” said Hayden Behel, president of MEISA. “I’m also excited to see any new or upcoming local musicians and talent that we have in the Shoals area.”

Ten to twelve artists will compete this year. The winner will receive a trophy and free studio recording time. Second and third place winners will also receive a trophy and a gift from the Entertainment Industry department.

“No one goes home empty-handed,” said Kati Salverson, MEISA vice president. “We’re not trying to only direct it to people in the Shoals area. We want it to be open to everybody so everyone can have a chance to be a part of it.”

MEISA welcomes the community to participate in the showcase, she said.

“I’ve been to the MEISA Showcase before, and it was really, really good,” said junior Schyler Arnold. “You got to see where the talent was that you didn’t know existed with the person sitting next to you. I will definitely be going this year.”

Some contestants move on to bigger opportunities in the music industry.

“Jordy Searcy was on “The Voice”, Salverson said. “Last year’s third place winner, Justin Richard, has been working in the country music scene with Brantley Gilbert. 2012 winner Rachel Wammack is writing songs for Sony Nashville and Kristen Dunn, of the band Two or More and 2013 winner, is working on her first solo album.”

Although the judges have yet to be named, three Shoals locals who are active in the music industry will be judging the showcase, Behel said.

“Even if you don’t win, those three people know your name,” Salverson said. “Down the road they may be able to assist you.”

The students and faculty of the Entertainment Industry Department are excited to see talent the showcase will bring this year, they said.

Performing in the showcase allows upcoming artists priceless performance experience, said Janna Malone, Entertainment Industry Instructor.

“It gives them an opportunity to showcase their talent and get their music out in front of people to see the response of the crowd,” she said. “A lot of times students don’t have that opportunity if they’re not playing in a band and have a regular gig.”

Malone said she believes this is a very exciting time for the music industry in the Shoals.

“I think there is a resurgence of Muscle Shoals music with all the bands now,” she said. “This is the student’s time to shine and be the next generation of Muscle Shoals Music.”