This week, the Dayton Philharmonic begins its “Idol” search for R&B solo singers in the period leading up to its two May pops concerts featuring The Contours, the longtime Motown group currently under the leadership of Sylvester Potts. The orchestra’s search for twelve semifinalists will take place on April 23 at a karaoke party at the Dayton nightclub Therapy Café; auditions will be captured on video, and highlights will be posted on YouTube. DPO Music Director Neal Gittleman will head the local judging panel, which will select the twelve semifinalists by 2 a.m. A second round of auditions will take place at Therapy Café on May 7, after which six semifinalists will be announced. All six finalists will rehearse with The Contours and the DPO on May 8; three will perform at the beginning of the May 8 concert, and three will perform at the start of the May 9 concert. After audience ballots are cast at intermission, two winners—one selected per night—will perform “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” with The Contours at the conclusion of each concert.

Posted April 21, 2009