Tuesday, November 16, 2010

First Night Sing-Off Seeks Talented Students


November 15, 2010

Student Stars Sought for First Night Pittsburgh Sing-Off

(Pittsburgh, PA) – As part of its staunch commitment to opening opportunities for young people in its service territory, Equitable Gas Company is searching for musically talented students to audition for the company’s vocal competition. The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is part of the upcoming 2010 First Night® Pittsburgh, a project of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, with generous support from lead sponsor Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Similar to a number of talent shows currently popular on television, students from grades six through 12 who are affiliated with a middle or high school in Southwestern Pennsylvania may submit a video audition performance of a song that conveys the spirit of the New Year. Individual students and groups of 20 or fewer should upload a video up to 5 minutes in length to YouTube, then submit it to the contest. Additional contest information and the entry form are available on the First Night® Pittsburgh website, firstnightpgh.org. The application deadline is December 6, 2010.

“Equitable Gas is pleased to once again sponsor some of the key family-friendly activities of First Night Pittsburgh and support The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust in its annual presentation of this premier holiday event,” said Bill Lucas, Executive Vice President of Equitable Gas. “We are proud to offer the Equitable Gas Sing-Off, a new activity for young people to showcase their musical talents on New Year’s Eve.”

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Equitable Gas will select up to five finalists, and the community will be invited to vote on these five submissions. The popular vote will help to determine the winner. Award winners will perform live as the opening act for the three Equitable Gas Marquee Performances at the Byham Theater during First Night® Pittsburgh. In addition, winners will have a private cast session with members of a cappella group Straight, No Chaser in mid-December. Finally, winners will receive complimentary First Night® Pittsburgh admission buttons to enjoy the numerous activities that night.

“We are excited to give Pittsburgh youth an opportunity to share their interpretation of what the New Year means to them,” said Kathryn Heidemann, Director of First Night Pittsburgh and Senior Manager of Education & Community Engagement for The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “The Equitable Gas Sing-Off is a perfect addition to First Night Pittsburgh, powerfully depicting celebration, resolution, community and hope through song.”

First Night® Pittsburgh is a joyous celebration of the arts, featuring everything from children’s activities to performances by nationally-known musicians to installations by local artists and a spectacular fireworks finale. First Night® Pittsburgh is a licensee of First Night® USA, the national association of community-based New Year’s Eve arts festivals.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit organization whose mission is the cultural and economic development of Pittsburgh’s 14-block Cultural District through public and private support. The Trust presents and encourages diverse performing and visual arts programs within the District, and is an impetus for additional development in downtown Pittsburgh.

Equitable Gas Company is a provider of safe and dependable natural gas service to approximately 275,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers located mainly in the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Its customer base also includes more than 200 municipalities in nine other counties in western Pennsylvania, 12 counties in central and northern West Virginia, and nine counties in eastern Kentucky. Additional information about Equitable Gas can be obtained through its Web site at www.equitablegas.com.
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Media Contacts:
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Veronica Corpuz, (412) 471-6082
Equitable Gas, Scott Waitlevertch (412) 395-2314

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