A Prairie Home Companion Online Activities Archive

Talent from Towns Under Two Thousand Contest

Big Talents Come from Small Places
2000 Contest - Sixth Annual!

2000 Official Rules
Previous Winners - 1999 Contest - 1998 Contest


We do a talent show for people from small towns because talented people have a hard row to hoe in small towns. Mystery is so useful to a performer, don't you know. That's why we have a backstage. But when you play in a small town you are playing in front of people who know you much too well. Know all sorts of things about you. And one of the things that all of them are thinking as they watch you play is, 'If she were really any good she wouldn't be here.' - Garrison Keillor, 1999

Last year's winner - Jason Moody

For six years running we've been collecting entries for A Prairie Home Companion's Annual Talent From Towns Under 2,000 (T-TUTT) Contest. This year's contest will be held during the April 15 live broadcast from The Town Hall in New York City. The contest features performers from rural areas and towns of fewer than 2,000 people. Colorful contestants from years past have included everyone from a yodeling grandmother to an 11-year-old singing sensation to an 8-piece marimba band, an electric guitarist, blues singers, and old-time bands.

Last year's winner was 17-year-old violinist Jason Moody from Dover, Idaho (pop. 500). Moody started violin lessons and gave his first solo performance at age 5. He is a member of the Spokane Youth Orchestra string quartet and, under the direction of Gunther Schuller, he was a soloist with the Spokane Symphony at the 1998 Festival at Sandpoint, where his interest in the violin first began. Jason Moody won the 1999 T-TUTT contest with a performance of Fritz Kreisler's technically challenging "Tambourin Chinois."

This year's finalists will be flown to New York City, to perform on A Prairie Home Companion, live from The Town Hall. The winner of the Talent From Towns Under 2,000 Contest (T-TUTT) receives the coveted Silver Water Tower Trophy and a monetary prize.


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