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American Idol at Calvin? Sort Of

February 15, 2007

The Festival of Faith & Music at Calvin College is introducing a new twist for 2007:  bandspotting.

Via bandspotting 10 bands will receive the opportunity to be heard by Michael Kauffman (Asthmatic Kitty Records) and critic Andy Whitman (Paste Magazine,  Five bands will have music on a CD distributed to up to 1,000 Festival registrants.  And one band will be featured live on the Fish House stage at Calvin on Friday, March 30 with singer-songwriters Sarah Masen and Liz Janes.

The entry fee is $50 and bands must submit a packet of music and information by February 28 to be considered. 

Rob Vander Giessen-Reitsma, a member of the ffm 2007 committee, is excited about the opportunity to introduce Festival registrants to excellent new music and give new bands the chance to participate in the event. 

"We were receiving a lot of inquiries from newer bands who wanted to know how to get involved with the Festival," he says. "And we didn't want this to be an event that only featured established artists.  We also wanted to create a space that fosters the work of new bands in various genres."

Musicians and groups who wish to be considered for bandspotting will have to submit a packet of materials by February 28, including two songs, a bio and a photo.  The details of entry are on the Festival web site.

The third biennial Festival of Faith and Music will take place at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from March 30-31.  Dedicated to exploring the conversation between faith and the art of music, the festival seeks to create community among musicians, critics, theologians and listeners from a variety of backgrounds. The 2007 festival will feature nationally recognized presenters and performers, including Emmylou Harris, Sufjan Stevens, Lauren Winner and Neko Case.