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‘Show must go on' attitude allows artists to thrive virtually

The lights are shining bright and the speakers buzzing with anticipation, but while the venue may be prepared, the performances for Knox Carols 2020 will debut virtually for the first time in its history.

Along with the tunes of our favourite Christmas carols, the event presents an opportunity for young artists in Knox to perform pre-show in the annual Knox Factor competition finale.

When faced with COVID-19 restrictions, the Knox Factor team were determined to present a competition model which offered more support and guidance for the contestants.

Competition Mentor and Program Support Officer, Andrea Cobern said Knox Factor has brought a light into a dull year.

“The competition has done a lot for everybody involved,” Andrea said.

“It has given the contestants something to look forward to during the pandemic.”

Andrea, who has been teaching singing for 33 years, said along with an ear to talk to, the contestants received guidance with their vocal work, performance planning and song choices that they ordinarily wouldn’t have received.

She said the online mentoring format was “amazing” and offered greater flexibility and opportunities for performers.

“Every single person I mentored was so appreciative and felt comfortable and connected online. I don’t think all the contestants would have been able to compete if that mentorship wasn’t available.”

Knox Factor 2019 winner James Cormack-Brown, who is also one of this year’s judges, said the video auditions showcased some great talent.

One perk of winning the Knox Factor is the opportunity to perform at the following year’s Carols by Candlelight. James said being a contestant has provided him with many new experiences and he’s enjoyed the chance to perform virtually.

“For anyone out there considering applying for Knox Factor, it’s a great opportunity,” James said.

“I’ve been given so many opportunities, even when live performances weren’t possible. I’ve been mentoring and speaking to people, performed in Live in your Loungeroom and I’ve been presented with great exposure as an artist.”

Knox Carols by Candelight 2020, featuring the Knox Factor Grand Final, will be streamed live to Facebook.com/KnoxArtsandEvents on Saturday 12 December from 6:30pm.

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