At the Tom Tom Founders Festival’s Singer/Songwriter Competition, ten Charlottesville-based musicians competed to win one of three prizes. The first prize was the crowdfunded pool, created by the audience and the number of votes they bought. The other two prizes included free studio time and training at White Star Studios and rehearsal time at Bay 1 Studios.
Halayna Aldous won first prize, followed by Kate Bollinger in second place, and Greg Ward in third. The night was capped off with a performance by Lena Fayre, labeled as one of the ten “New Artists You Need To Know” in 2014 by Rolling Stone.
The first competitor to perform, Kyle Woolard, had the audience get involved and sing along throughout his performance for the judges.
Seventeen-year-old Kate Bollinger was the second youngest competitor in the competition and proceeded to win second place.
Greg Ward used a looper pedal and electric guitar to create a unique reggae sound.
Michael Coleman “seemed to come out of no where in 2011,” said the announcer. His smooth voice enthralled audience members of all ages.
Although she took a break in her music career to raise children, Robin Wynn jumped right into the songs she performed, resembling a troubadour in her distinctive storytelling.
Guion Pratt, singer for the band Nettles, performed his songs “Brando,” a song about Stanley Kowalski’s character in A Streetcar Named Desire, and “Pyramid of Skulls,” a song about writer’s block.
Performing barefoot, Kendall Street Company produced a smooth sound that had audiences listening in on the stories they told.
Although she had “never performed it in front of actual people before,” the second song that Kristen Rae Bowden performed kept everyone’s feet tapping and heads nodding.
Despite beginning with what he considered to be a sad song, Sam Bush finished with a high energy tune, giving his performance good contrast.
Sixteen-year-old Halayna Aldous took home first prize of $1000 with her songs that merited use “in an Apple commercial.”
Lena Fayre, as seen with Charlottesville’s own Adam Smith, is in town from Los Angeles to record at White Star Studios.