Making stars out of students

By Emily Macphail

Aspiring singers at the 
University of Calgary can be involved in the Idol experience at the sixth annual 
UC Idol, a showcase of student musical talent on Sept. 28.

Debuting in 2007, the show was initially club-focused — each participant represented a club. It was initially called Club Idol. 

Around 90 people attended the first event and raised $200 that was put back into the community. 
U of C health sciences graduate Catrina Loucks become the first UC Idol.

In 2008, the event structure changed so that contestants represented themselves. The charity aspect took on a greater role with “Idol Gives Back.”

The majority of the show’s proceeds were donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.

UC Idol continued to grow over the next few years. 

In 2011, the show had 48 sponsors and 360 attendees raising $3,250. To date, UC Idol has raised over $8,000 for the CCS.

UC Idol has a similar judging structure as American Idol.

Both U of C chemistry professor Ashley Causton and biological sciences professor Isabelle Barrette-Ng have been judging the show since 2007. This year, drama professor Patrick Finn will be the third judge.

There are six contestants this year, including second-year music student Laurie Callao, second-year engineering student Fetiha Rezwan and second-year geology student Ivan Dy Buco. They all agree that UC Idol is a great way to showcase their skills and give to the community.

“[Music is] an integral part of who I am,” said Rezwan, who writes her own songs. 

Dy Buco said he sees music as a way to express himself. He began playing guitar at sixteen. 

“I was just obsessed and played until my fingers bled,” said 
Dy Buco.

Callao said her family was the reason for her love of music. 

“My first voice coach [was] my mom, I picked up the guitar by watching my grandpa play some folk tunes and I was enrolled in piano at a very early age,” said Callao. 

There will be two videos at this year’s show as well as special performances, including a Bollywood dance and an 
improvisation performance by the 
U of C’s Improv Club.

UC Idol co-director and third-year biomedical sciences student Linda Ding said that she is excited about the contestants this year. 

“Many of the contestants are doing something that has never been done on an Idol show before, such as bringing in a beatboxer and playing the violin and drums,” said Ding.

She said that a new element will be added to the show, but it is being kept a secret until the night of the event. 

Anyone wishing to purchase tickets can do so online or at booths on main campus and Foothills campus for $12. Tickets are also available at the door for $15. The show will be held at the Health Sciences Centre in the Libin Theatre on September 28 at 6:30 p.m.

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