By CHERIL VERNON
PALESTINE — Four finalists under the age of 18 will vie for the title of Youth Talent Search “Artist of the Year” during the Dogwood Jamboree's “A Pineywood Christmas” show set for December.
The show will start at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Palestine Civic Center.
“There are a number of talented young people in the East Texas area and many of them never get a chance to perform on venues like the Jamboree, so we wanted to do all we could to inspire and encourage the youth of East Texas by allowing them the opportunity to compete for the title,” Dogwood Jamboree Producer Dan Manuel said. “These kids are super talented and worth watching. Many of them have their own YouTube channels where you can listen to their music.”
The contestants are: Reagan Starr, 18, from Tyler, winner of the March Dogwood Jamboree show; Morgan Smith, 14, from Tyler, winner of the June Dogwood Jamboree show; Jesie Hines, 17, from Mount Vernon, winner of the August Dogwood Jamboree show; and Zac Clifton, 12, from East Bernard, winner of the October Dogwood Jamboree show.
“The Artist of the Year will be chosen from 75 percent audience vote and 25 percent from a panel of judges,” Manuel said.
The winner also will receive a large cash award, plaque (provided by Lone Star Design) and a $500 photo opportunity from Lee Loveless Photography.
In addition to the youth talent competition, the Dogwood Jamboree's Christmas show will include lots of musical entertainment, including The Bishop Sisters.
“We are thrilled about our Christmas production this year,” Manuel said. “The Bishop Sisters have been on the show previously and did a great job and we are looking forward to having them on the Christmas show,” Manuel said. “One of the sisters more widely know because of her recent Nashville album is Lori Bishop. Lori and her brother are owners of Bishop’s Brisket House in the Palestine Mall. She recently recorded a number of songs while in Nashville. She is a super artist and we are fortunate to have her and her sisters on the show.”
Also performing during the show will be Joe Hancock, Hal Roper, “Flo,” George Lester, Mike Kellogg, Shelia Weaver and Manuel.
Manuel encourages everyone to come out for the Christmas show.
“The Christmas show is always draws great numbers. It’s a great way to get into the Christmas spirit. Some of the great classic songs will be performed by artists from all over Texas that night. We have booked several tour groups for this show,” Manuel said.
The venue was recently given special recognition in the national publication “American Profile.”
“Some of the best classic country songs and hits will live in our memory and the performers that night will try to recreate some of the sounds and music that country music fans have listened to through the years,” Manuel said.
Doors open at 6 p.m. At the intermission, door prizes donated by local merchants and businesses will be given away. For those out of town wanting additional information about the show or for those wishing to purchase advanced tickets at a discounted rate of $12.50 can call 903-729-7080 or 903-724-2556. Tickets at the door are $15 per adult and $6 for children 6 through 10 years of age. Children under five years get in free.