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Thur. June 24, 2010/ VOL. 5, Issue 25

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Bamberg’s Operation Rising Star to begin in August By Simon Hupfer, USAG Bamberg Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Become the next U.S. Army Rising Star. Show your stage talent at Bamberg’s Stable Theater and move on to the finals in the U.S. with the Army’s 2010 singing competition Operation Rising Star, which is based on the TV show “American Idol.” ORS is one of hundreds of programs the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command provides for Soldiers and their Families. Bamberg’s local ORS winner will receive $300 for his or her unit or Family Readiness Group. The first round of Bamberg’s ORS will be Aug. 6 at 7 p.m.; round two is scheduled for Aug. 27. The top three singers will perform on the stage during Soldier Family Appreciation Day on Sept. 10. Applications are being accepted now and sign-up forms are available at Courtesy Photo

Bamberg appears to be a good place for singing talent. In 2008, Joyce Dodson, currently stationed in Bamberg as a Family Readiness Support Assistant for the 173rd Special Troops Battalion, won the contest. Forty-six installations sent hundreds of singers into the competition. “It needs determination, the gift and skill of singing, and the desire in participation,” Dodson said.

Chaplain (Capt.) Don Williamson made second place in Operation Rising Star all-Army competition in 2009. As a Chaplain in the Army, he has been considered one of the most talented singing Soldier. First place winner Lisa Pratt won the contest being a civilian. Both were part of the Army Entertainment Division’s TV production, broadcasted live on the Pentagon channel. The chaplain had the advantage of a good musical education through various choirs as a child and member of an A-Cappella group as an adult.

She also had a tip for all competitors. “For the local competition, choose a song that the people know and that gets them going,” she said.

First place winner Pratt, like Dodson in 2008, earned an allexpenses-paid trip to record a three-song demo Compact Disk at DMI Music’s Firehouse Recording Studios in Pasadena, Calif.

In 2009, Bamberg’s candidate Chaplain (Capt.) Don Williamson made second place in the all-Army competition.

“I never knew that Operation Rising Star was going to open all these doors for me,” Pratt said.

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“I usually just write my own material,” Rao said. “I like to think of myself as a songwriter more than a performer. James and I are working on my own stuff. He’s actually producing some of it.” The mixer can be intimidating, but James was able to really provide a good idea of what it’s about, Rao said. If you plan on a career in music, you have to know about the mixing and recording side. Another member of the current class is high school senior Wyatt Hamilton. Hamilton took an interest in the recording class after volunteering as a technical assistant for some of the theater’s productions. “I thought that it would be interesting to try out because I’d like to learn more about sound and things like that,” Hamilton said. “It’s a cool skill to have.” Rao plans to use what he’s learned to enhance and edit his songs. “As far as I’m concerned personally, as a songwriter, I’m impressed just by what technology can do to your original material,” Rao said. “I mean a song is simple, but you can make it fly with the technology you have here, like a mixer.”

own setups at home and they've got a much better idea of how to get the most out of it now.” No prior experience is needed to take the workshop, Frederick said. “I wasn’t doing anything with music at all and I understand what’s going on,” Hamilton said. “Anybody who thinks it’d be interesting should totally come on down and check it out.” Frederick said that anyone can come and rent the studio whether they’ve completed a course or not and he will assist them. “The class on the other hand is designed to get the participants to a place where they can run the sessions themselves and as a result use the room at a discounted rate,” he said. The next beginner’s session begins on June 29 and classes for the first intermediate course will start July 1. Though he leaves Bamberg next month, Rao said he definitely would have enrolled in the intermediate class if time had allowed.

Frederick said he has seen evidence of the course’s success in his students’ increased capabilities.

“There's really a lot of information to cover and four, eight, 12 classes aren't going to turn you into a recording engineer, though it'll point you in the right direction,” Frederick said. “The intermediate workshop goes much deeper into the topics we covered in the beginner sessions and continuing to put them into practice.”

“I think it's really lit a fire underneath those that have completed the course already,” he said. “I know some of them are working on their

For more information or to enroll in the workshop, call the Stable Theater at 0951-300-8647.

Warner Weekly June 24, 2010  

Military command information for Bamberg, Germany.

Warner Weekly June 24, 2010  

Military command information for Bamberg, Germany.