They may not be going to Hollywood, but over 30 contestants have a shot at participating in Bay Ridge’s own annual Senior Idol singing competition.
On Monday, September 20, singers 50 years and older gathered at the Xaverian High School auditorium to audition for a spot at final round of the contest, organized by State Senator Marty Golden.
While most of the hopefuls belted tunes from legendary acts such as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, and Frank Sinatra, some sang contemporary selections from Marc Anthony and Jason Mraz. Others even decided to play originals.
Barbara Latesta, who was rooting on her sister-in law that auditioned, enjoyed her time.
“I think it’s awesome. People don’t see this talent all the time,” she said. “We only look at young people singing so this is a pleasure. Also, these are songs that meant something for us.”
A handful of the afternoon’s contestants were newcomers.
“I used to play [guitar] when I was young and gave up for many years and just lately have been trying to get back into it,” said first-timer Kenny Larke. “I just got the notice in the mail and thought that it would be fun to come and interact with everyone. It’s just a lot of fun listening to the other contestants.”
“I was very excited to audition. I like to utilize the gifts that I have,” said Rita Biamonte, adding that she practices whenever she has the energy. “I’ve been here several years before. I didn’t win as a finalist but I did make it through the audition process.”
As for the judges, they were happy to see seniors once again show up, let loose and have a great time, whether or not the hopefuls made it through to the finals.
“To the seniors, it’s an exciting moment. It’s a time for them to shine. They look forward to it,” said Victoria DiSalvo, director of community affairs for Golden and a judge for the elimination round. “I think we have a good mix of talent this year. You have some strong voices and some people are nervous. You could see underneath that it’s a powerhouse waiting to come out.”
Xaverian music teacher and judge Rob Randazzo agreed. “It’s a great opportunity for the community to come out and not just show their talent, but to perform and have themselves recognized even if in a small way,” he said.
The actual competition takes place on Saturday, October 3 at 7 p.m. at Xaverian High School. Tickets are $10.00 and available only for purchase at the door. For more information, contact email@example.com or (718) 238-6044.
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photos by Jaime DeJesus