UM Idol begins search for a Hurricane superstar

Are you a shower superstar? Do you dance around your dorm room singing into a hairbrush?

If so, it could be your turn to shine. Sign-ups for UM Idol end today at 3 p.m.

Members of Cane Records, UM’s own recording label, came up with the idea of an on-campus talent search last year.

A few months later, Fox’s infamous American Idol TV show gave them the model they needed on which to base their search.

“We’d been thinking about a talent search for a while,” said Veronica Johnson, vice-president of artists and repertoire for Cane Records.

“It’s just now starting to get moving, but we’re expecting a good turnout. We’d love to pull some great talent out of the woodwork here at UM.”

Any UM student can sign up for the preliminary auditions which take place Nov. 6-7 on the UC patio.

Auditionees can choose to sing a song either from Cane Records’ list of available karaoke tracks or sing their own song, so long as they provide a copy of the CD.

After the first audition, all UM students are invited to visit and vote for the performers they liked best.

The ten artists with the most votes will participate in the final contest Nov. 20 on the patio.

The final contest will be hosted by Mr. and Miss UM and will be broken up into two rounds.

In round one, all ten artists will sing a song of their choice. Five contestants will be eliminated by four judges.

The remaining five will perform another song. The winner will be chosen from these five.

The winner will receive a year-long recording contract with Cane Records, meaning that he or she will be able to record an album for free.

The judges include Johnson; Phil Jones, a music business grad student; Rey Sanchez, assistant faculty advisor for the music business and entertainment program; and Ben Werlin, coordinator of Friday Groove with Hurricane Productions.

Singers will be judged on voice, stage presence and audience reaction.

“We’re looking for someone with nice tone, some technique and an image and appearance that’s marketable,” said Cane Records president Lisa Nishioka.

Seven people had signed up by the end of Tuesday, but Nishioka says she is confident that procrastinators will show up on the last day.

Some students were excited about the talent search.

“I’m auditioning for sure,” said senior music major Becky Tumbarello. “It looks like fun. I sing all the time anyway, so I might as well sing for my friends. What could it hurt?”

Others, however, were hoping for better prizes, like cash.

“I can record myself singing my own songs anytime,” said Lizz Gillock, a music major. “I don’t know if it’s worth the time and energy to compete if getting to record is the only prize.”

Cane Records, started by UM music business and recording majors in 1994, has produced several albums.

Their most recent project is Insurrection, a CD by Burk, a UM student who raps positive vibes to hip hop beats.

Cane Records also plans to begin work on a UM dance mix compilation album, which is part of the reason they are looking for new talent.

“We’re hoping to get about 30 people to perform onstage, showing us what they can do,” said Johnson. “We’re open to anything.”

“We’d love to make this an every-other-year kind of thing,” said Nishioka, “but I can’t promise anything, since the [Cane Records] staff will be different by then.”

If you’d like to try your hand at stardom, go by the UC breezeway today and sign up for a time slot.

If you’re more of a spectator, be sure to come out and support your friends or just enjoy the music during the first auditions, Wednesday, Nov. 6 and Thursday, Nov. 7 from 12 – 2 p.m. on the UC patio.

Jaclyn Lisenby can be contacted at

November 1, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.