Young music stars urged to sign up to bands competition

A CALL has been made to young musicians and bands in the Suffolk Coastal district to enter a popular competition.

The Soundwaves Ultimate Bands Contest has been launched for 2011 and project organisers are hoping to secure a wealth of new talent.

Entrants will take part in heats before a grand final in September. The finalists will benefit from industry masterclasses and have the chance to record their songs in a studio.

Past winners of the Soundwaves contest include Framlingham singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran – who is currently riding high in the iTunes charts with his latest EP – and Felixstowe-based rock band Stratosfire, who were the 2010 winners.

Sophie Hargraves, Soundwaves project manager, said: “We are passionate about music and local talent and do everything we can to make it happen for aspiring youngsters.

“We are always on the look out for the stars of tomorrow. We know we can play a part in providing valuable experience, contacts and exposure – all the ingredients to achieve your dreams.”

She said Soundwaves was also keen to establish links with the county’s music festivals to give young talent a bigger stage.

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Heats have been confirmed for Saturday, February 26, at Framlingham College; Saturday, March 19, at Martlesham Community Centre, and Saturday, April 2, at Leiston Film Theatre.

The final will take place in September and will be headlined by rock band Brigade, fronted by former Framlingham schoolboys Will Simpson and James Plant.

The pair will also be holding a masterclass at Framlingham College next month for the Soundwaves finalists.

The competition, supported by Suffolk Coastal District Council, is open to any artist living in the area, aged between 13 and 26, or bands with at least one member living in the district. All entrants must be unsigned and have three original songs they have written.

To enter the competition, or to find out more about the Soundwaves project and masterclasses, bands and artists can email or contact Soundwaves on 07903 017838. The closing date for entries is February 4.

n Soundwaves is holding a Bands in the Bar gig at the Crown, in Framlingham, on Sunday, starting at 3pm. Entry is free.