“The music is in good hands….”
Andy May’s Acoustic Ki♪s showcases are festival-based non-competitive performance opportunities for young musicians and singers of any skill level, beginner through pro. Featured performers must be 16 or younger, but accompanists may be any age, and many family bands participate. The festival setting ensures an interested, supportive audience. In turn, the audience is treated to an Opry-style stream of entertainers, each performer doing 1-3 numbers. Through on-stage dialogue, Andy—in the role of MC, mentor, and educator—sets the young performers at ease and gives folks in the audience practical information about what it takes to fit music into busy lives.
“Andy has a remarkable ability to make kids feel welcomed and valued as a person and musical contributors. I’m so glad Acoustic Kids has stayed involved in the community, because not only does it give all these kids good memories, but as the kids grow up they’ll remember that their contribution is important.” – Sara Watkins, Nickel Creek
Acoustic Ki♪s showcases are about supporting and encouraging the next generation of acoustic music players, true, but they’re also about the kids providing the audience with a great show. The audiences have proven very loyal, turning out in all kinds of weather to support the kids. And many kids come back year after year, developing a following among the audience, who enjoy watching them grow as individuals and musicians. Returning performers often use the showcase as motivation to practice and improve during the year so they have something new to show at the next Acoustic Ki♪s.
How Acoustic Ki♪s Works:
Putting together a showcase that is successful for both the performers and the audience takes careful planning. Through the years, Andy has developed a streamlined application and review system that serves a dual purpose:
♪ It allows Andy to determine the relative skill level of the applicants so that he can put together a show that builds in excitement and holds the audience’s attention.
♪ Having to put together an audition presentation ensures that the kids are prepared to perform. It also gives them a goal to work toward, and meeting that goal helps build their confidence and self-esteem.