Seven talented groups and solo artists under the age of 18 will compete in the finals of the Songbirds Kids Talent Show Thursday night, March 12, at Songbirds Guitar Museum.

The group and solo winners will earn the right to perform two songs on the Chevy Stage at this year's Riverbend Festival, $250 cash and the chance to record a song in Songbirds Studio. In addition, one guitar player from the entire competition will earn a rig upgrade plus 12 weeks of advanced lessons from the Songbirds Foundation.

The event was created by Amber Carrington, a Top 4 finalist on "The Voice," who is now marketing/social media coordinator at Songbirds.

If you go

› What: Songbirds Kids Talent Show finals

› Where: Songbirds Guitar Museum, 35 Station St.

› When: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 12

› Admission: $10

› Online:

"We had these things in Texas where I grew up called Oprys, where you could get up and sing two songs every week and not have to sing in bars or whatever," she said. "It's how I got started and I thought it would be great to have something like it here."

The preliminary rounds were held March 11 with 17 competitors being chosen from entrants who submitted a videotape and written statement about themselves. When Carrington staged the first such event last year, everyone who entered made it to the preliminaries. This year, only the best 17 made the cut.

"I wanted to make it a little tougher," she said.

A panel of judges chose the finalists and the audience will pick Thursday night's winners. Being able to perform on the same Songbirds stage where greats such as Dick Dale, Doyle Dykes and Vince Gill have performed is pretty special, she said.

"The opportunity to put a child onstage and have their voice be heard is amazing. And for winners to also get to record a song is amazing."

Contact Barry Courter at or 757-423-6354.



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