Finalists Announced for A Prairie Home Companion's 7th Annual 'Talent From Towns Under 2,000' Contest

Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from Minnesota Public Radio

    SAINT PAUL, Minn., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 
     "This (show) represents a sort of quota in hiring preferences, setting
 aside a show for people from small towns and discriminating against people
 from Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, even Anoka (Keillor's hometown).
 Though they may be more talented and deserving, I say, 'Tough.'  We all know
 that life is terribly unfair, so why not spread the unfairness around more
 evenly?" -- Garrison Keillor
 
     Saturday, April 21, A Prairie Home Companion will broadcast its 7th Annual
 "Talent from Towns Under Two Thousand" (T-TUTT) contest, live from the
 Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul.  The finalists are:
     -- Scott Olson, a classical trumpet player who is also an elementary
        school music teacher from Mission Hill, S.D. (pop. 200);
     -- Patti Casey, a singer-songwriter from North Duxbury, Vt. (pop.
        1290);
     -- Kyle Coolidge, an 11-year-old pianist from Delton, Wis. (pop. 1916);
     -- Andy Newbrey, a gospel singer who is working toward an accounting
        degree at Wichita State University, from Towanda, Kan. (pop. 1000);
     -- Katie Kerkhover Band, a bluegrass group featuring 15-year-old Katie
        Kerkhover on the fiddle, from Rockwood, Ill. (pop. 47);
     -- Celestial Sirens, a four-person a cappella group from Lincoln, Vt.
        (pop. 974).
 
     This year's "Talent From Towns Under 2,000" (T-TUTT) contest was announced
 on the January 13 live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.  There is only
 one rule for participation:  contestants must reside in a town with fewer than
 2,000 residents.  The six finalists -- chosen from more than 675 entries
 received by mail and via answering machine -- will be flown to Saint Paul,
 Minn., to perform on this Saturday's live broadcast.
     Each act will perform one number during the first half of the two-hour
 broadcast.  During intermission, the theater audience will vote for their
 favorite contestant by written ballot.  The radio audience will be invited to
 cast their votes online at http://www.prairiehome.org . All votes will be
 tallied backstage while Garrison Keillor gives his weekly monologue, "The
 News From Lake Wobegon," and the winner will be announced during the last
 half-hour of the broadcast.
     The Grand Prize winner of the contest receives the coveted Silver Water
 Tower Trophy, a symbol of excellence in small-town America, and a check for
 $1000.  Last year's winner, Leilani Clark from Welborn, Fla. (pop. 500), will
 be on hand to present the Silver Water Tower Trophy to the new T-TUTT
 champion.
 
     Our Show:  Each week's broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion features
 musical guests, comedy sketches with actors Sue Scott and Tim Russell, sound
 effects wizard Tom Keith and its own house band, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band.
 A Prairie Home Companion has been broadcasting since 1976 and is hosted by
 Garrison Keillor.  The highpoint of the show is Keillor's monologue, "The News
 From Lake Wobegon," an update from the little town where "all the women are
 strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average."
 
     Tune in:  Nationwide, A Prairie Home Companion is aired each week by more
 than 500 public radio stations, with a U.S. audience of approximately
 2.9 million listeners.  The show is heard on Armed Forces Network Europe and
 Armed Forces Far East Network, and on America One.
 
     Web site:  Ticket information, live audio streaming, show archives, photos
 and more information about A Prairie Home Companion and its guests can be
 found online at http://www.prairiehome.org .  A special T-TUTT section on the
 Web site features background information and photos of the contestants.
 
     A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Minnesota Public Radio,
 distributed nationwide by Public Radio International, and sponsored by Lands'
 End Direct Merchants.
 
 

SOURCE Minnesota Public Radio
    SAINT PAUL, Minn., April 18 /PRNewswire/ --
 
     "This (show) represents a sort of quota in hiring preferences, setting
 aside a show for people from small towns and discriminating against people
 from Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, even Anoka (Keillor's hometown).
 Though they may be more talented and deserving, I say, 'Tough.'  We all know
 that life is terribly unfair, so why not spread the unfairness around more
 evenly?" -- Garrison Keillor
 
     Saturday, April 21, A Prairie Home Companion will broadcast its 7th Annual
 "Talent from Towns Under Two Thousand" (T-TUTT) contest, live from the
 Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul.  The finalists are:
     -- Scott Olson, a classical trumpet player who is also an elementary
        school music teacher from Mission Hill, S.D. (pop. 200);
     -- Patti Casey, a singer-songwriter from North Duxbury, Vt. (pop.
        1290);
     -- Kyle Coolidge, an 11-year-old pianist from Delton, Wis. (pop. 1916);
     -- Andy Newbrey, a gospel singer who is working toward an accounting
        degree at Wichita State University, from Towanda, Kan. (pop. 1000);
     -- Katie Kerkhover Band, a bluegrass group featuring 15-year-old Katie
        Kerkhover on the fiddle, from Rockwood, Ill. (pop. 47);
     -- Celestial Sirens, a four-person a cappella group from Lincoln, Vt.
        (pop. 974).
 
     This year's "Talent From Towns Under 2,000" (T-TUTT) contest was announced
 on the January 13 live broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion.  There is only
 one rule for participation:  contestants must reside in a town with fewer than
 2,000 residents.  The six finalists -- chosen from more than 675 entries
 received by mail and via answering machine -- will be flown to Saint Paul,
 Minn., to perform on this Saturday's live broadcast.
     Each act will perform one number during the first half of the two-hour
 broadcast.  During intermission, the theater audience will vote for their
 favorite contestant by written ballot.  The radio audience will be invited to
 cast their votes online at http://www.prairiehome.org . All votes will be
 tallied backstage while Garrison Keillor gives his weekly monologue, "The
 News From Lake Wobegon," and the winner will be announced during the last
 half-hour of the broadcast.
     The Grand Prize winner of the contest receives the coveted Silver Water
 Tower Trophy, a symbol of excellence in small-town America, and a check for
 $1000.  Last year's winner, Leilani Clark from Welborn, Fla. (pop. 500), will
 be on hand to present the Silver Water Tower Trophy to the new T-TUTT
 champion.
 
     Our Show:  Each week's broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion features
 musical guests, comedy sketches with actors Sue Scott and Tim Russell, sound
 effects wizard Tom Keith and its own house band, The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band.
 A Prairie Home Companion has been broadcasting since 1976 and is hosted by
 Garrison Keillor.  The highpoint of the show is Keillor's monologue, "The News
 From Lake Wobegon," an update from the little town where "all the women are
 strong, all the men are good-looking and all the children are above average."
 
     Tune in:  Nationwide, A Prairie Home Companion is aired each week by more
 than 500 public radio stations, with a U.S. audience of approximately
 2.9 million listeners.  The show is heard on Armed Forces Network Europe and
 Armed Forces Far East Network, and on America One.
 
     Web site:  Ticket information, live audio streaming, show archives, photos
 and more information about A Prairie Home Companion and its guests can be
 found online at http://www.prairiehome.org .  A special T-TUTT section on the
 Web site features background information and photos of the contestants.
 
     A Prairie Home Companion is produced by Minnesota Public Radio,
 distributed nationwide by Public Radio International, and sponsored by Lands'
 End Direct Merchants.
 
 SOURCE  Minnesota Public Radio