Big Brothers Big Sisters looking for local talent

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

Do you have what it takes to be the next musical sensation? If so, why not audition for the regional finals in the American Icon Search for a chance to win a $50,000 music production package.



What: Auditions for the American Icon Search, sponsored by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Florida and SAFEID4Families.

When: 5-7 p.m. Friday.

Where: Big Brothers Big Sisters, 1155 NW 13th St.

Cost: $20 audition fee.

Information: Call 352-375-2525 or visit

John Bonacci, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida, said the competition is open to any vocalist and musician, soloist and group in any genre, as long as they have not sold their recorded music for a profit.

"Just show up to the audition and let your talent shine," said Bonacci, adding that auditions for the regional finals will be held from 5-7 p.m. Friday at Big Brothers Big Sisters at 1155 NW 13th St.

The regional finals will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 27 at the Bo Diddley Downtown Plaza. Bonacci said auditions are open to singers and musicians in Alachua, Bradford, Columbia, Levy, Gilcrist and Marion counties. The audition fee is $20.

Bonacci said there are 14 Big Brothers Big Sisters regions in Florida, and the goal is to grow American Icon Search in Florida and beyond. He said the Gainesville event will be followed by American Icon Search auditions in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Tallahasse.

Regional finalists will advance to the state finals, where the state finalist will receive a $50,000 music production package from 3RDLEVELMEDIA Group, an artist development and music production company with a recording studio here in Gainesville.

Ali Awolowo, CEO of 3RDLEVELMEDIA, said auditioning for American Icon Search will provide an opportunity for artists who aspire to a career in the music industry to be heard.

"Make this your year," said Awolowo. "Just do it, and let your talent shine."

Bonacci said all of the contestants will be competing at the same level.

There will be no limit in age or music style as long as the content is family-friendly.

Bonacci said there is a recording studio at the Big Brothers Big Sisters office to accommodate auditions, so participants do not have to bring any equipment other than their instruments.

Bonacci said January is National Mentoring Month and the American Icon Search event also will serve to raise awareness of the need for mentors.

Bonacci said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Florida has more than 200 boys and girls on a waiting list for mentors.

"We're in an aggressive recruiting campaign," said Bonacci. "This event will help us get the exposure and increase awareness."

For more information, call Bonacci 352-375-2525.

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