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,
Last year's winner - Jason
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.