Rocking out for a cause

POSTED AT 12:00 AM ON Jan. 22, 2008 


With crowds still trickling in, the first round of competition for the title of Hoosier Guitar Idol began Monday night. The atmosphere was buzzing as more than 20 guitarists took the stage in front of a live audience at Max’s Place in downtown Bloomington.

The Business Careers in Entertainment Club presented the second annual competition and all proceeds benefitted the emergency room at Bloomington Hospital.

Hoosier Guitar Idol brings a reproduction of the popular television show “American Idol” to a local level.

“They have an American Idol for singers; this follows the same formula on a local college level,” said IU graduate Jesse Wallace.

Wallace said the event is a win-win situation for everyone, as young promoters have the opportunity to expand their resumes and potential talent can be recognized and discovered.

IU senior Eric Butte said he created the event last year after he suffered a nearly fatal motorcycle accident on the IU campus. The event is also a part of his senior project as an individualized music business major through the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

The event brings together producers, local band members, guitarists and audiences, Butte said.

“It’s a fantastic way of having talented musicians and audience members come together and have a good time,” he said.

The first round of competition began at about 7 p.m. as the artists performed onstage and received evaluation from judges and cheers from viewers. During the second round of competition, which began at 9 p.m., the remaining contestants had the opportunity to play with the house band The Buzzkills while getting a second evaluation from

the judges.

Buzzkills drummer Matt Schory is an IU senior who has been playing the drums for years.

“This is an amazing chance for us to play with great musicians and check out some of the local talent,” he said.

The winner of last year’s competition, Kyle Gilpin, now plays with The Buzzkills, a well-known band in the Bloomington music scene.

The backbone of the event is the Business Careers in Entertainment Club, which is involved with the preliminary auditions and management of the event, before and during the show.

“We are in charge of monitoring the judges, keeping the competitors in order and watching the doors before and during the performance,” said club member Nicole O’Neal. “This is good experience for anyone who wants to get involved in the business end of entertainment.”

After the first Guitar Idol competition last year, the club backed Butte, who was determined to host the show for a second consecutive year.

“From what I know from various people, there is a lot more talent this year,” said club member Steve Veldman. “We have been responsible for constantly putting up posters around town, week after week, and getting the word out about the show as much as we can.”

The Hoosier Guitar Idol finalists were Casimir Lewandowski, Shane Provost, Tyler Baker, Kyle Gilpin, Austin Johnson.


Sign in or create your account to add a comment.



Guidelines: Please keep your comments civil and do not attack other readers personally. Use the "Report Abuse" link if a comment/response violates these standards or our terms of service

2000 characters left



Your Name: *
Your Email: *  
To Email: *  
Subject: | Rocking out for a cause
Verify image: Security Text


Letter to the Editor

Your Name: *
Your Email: *  
Your Telephone#: *  
To Email:,
Subject: Letter to the Editor
Verify image: Security Text