BY BECKI DEGEEST
Classmates and friends Jenna Wawers and Kennedy Kiser both made it into the finals in this year’s Fargo Star competition. The two music students will go head-to-head, along with eight others, in a live performance battle on March 22 with the band Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome.
Both students have performed previously in the Fargo Star competitions and have similar motives for entering: their love of music and performing.
To enter the competition both Wawers and Kiser were required to submit a video showcasing their voices. The video was put on the Fargo Star website, and anyone who visited the site could vote.
There were four rounds of voting, which led to the selection of the 10 finalists.
Wawers sang Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good” for her online video, which picked up 22 percent of votes during the week two competition. She will be singing this song in the final competition.
“I like pop, but also pop that has soul and room for you to kind of move around and do your own thing,” Wawers said. “Amy Winehouse is my go-to when it comes to auditions and performances. Her music works well with the band, too.”
Kiser, who earned 38 percent of the online votes during week two, sang Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” for her audition video and is keeping her performance song a surprise.
The students met in the MSUM class “Musicianship for Non-Majors.” Soon after auditioning Kiser told Wawers that she had seen her video, and that she too was auditioning for the competition.
“I am most excited to get to be on stage with the band,” Kiser said. “I am also really glad that Jenna Wawers will be there, too. It will be great having a friend there.”
Kiser is a jazz and commercial music major, and Wawers is currently an elementary education major at Concordia but will be transferring to MSUM in the fall to study Music Industry.
“I’m doing it because it’s another opportunity to sing on stage,” Wawers said. “I love taking advantage of everything that comes with the band, and rehearsal is one of the best parts. It’s so exciting to be around the band, lights and all of that stuff. This year I kind of know what to expect, so I don’t feel nervous. I just feel excited.”
Both Wawers and Kiser are excited and prepared for their performance. Having both performed before, they have a good chance.
“Performing is something I am semi-accustomed to.” Kiser said. “I have performed during school events throughout high school, performed the national anthem for several events and I also was given the opportunity to perform in the cities a couple of times at small shows.”
Neither expects to win, but both look forward to the experience. After the competition Wawers wants to keep writing and working on her music. Kiser isn’t sure, but says she is content “as long as I get to focus on music.”
“Since the voting is the way it is, it’s basically who you bring. Last year the winner brought a fan bus, so really for me, it’s just another opportunity to perform on stage,” Wawers said.
This year’s performances will take place March 22 at The Venue at The Hub, and audience-based voting will choose the winner.