“Woodstock Idol” followed by a performance by Bryan White
WHEN: Woodstock Performing Arts Center at Woodstock North High School, 227 W. Judd St., Woodstock
WHERE: 7 p.m. Sept. 7
INFO: Tickets cost $20 and available at www.attendstar.com. Search for “Bryan White.” A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
Bryan White wanted to do more than simply offer a repeat performance in Woodstock.
A fan of the town, the country music recording artist has worked with friends in the community to promote “Woodstock Idol.” The first-ever event takes place 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Woodstock Performing Arts Center at Woodstock North High School, 227 W. Judd St., Woodstock.
White will perform after the competition. Tickets cost $20 at www.attendstar.com, with proceeds going toward Woodstock School District 200’s music program.
“Woodstock has given me so much,” White said. “We just thought it might be really neat to do something unique that encourages kids, and gives them an opportunity to get in front of an audience and get some experience under their belts, and at the same time give back to the school.”
White’s friends, Erik and Tami Borman of Woodstock, invited students from Creekside and Northwood middle schools, as well as Woodstock and Woodstock North high schools, to audition for the Idol competition.
Sixteen students – two from Woodstock High School, six from Northwood Middle School and eight from Woodstock North High School – were chosen to compete for the title.
Audience members will select the winners, with the first-place winner receiving $300. Second place earns $150, while third place will receive $50.
Voting will take place on slips of paper in the event’s programs. Audience members will vote during a 15-minute intermission between the competition and White’s concert.
All performers will either sing while playing their own instruments or karaoke-style, said Erik Borman, who’s two sons attend Woodstock North High School. The Bormans still are hoping for sponsorships from area business for the event.
Having previously performed at the Woodstock Opera House for a couple holiday concerts, White has invited area youth to perform with him in the past. After a performance in 2011, he was invited to host the town’s Groundhog Day festivities.
A fan of the 1993 movie, “Groundhog Day,” that was filmed in Woodstock, he gladly took Mayor Brian Sager up on an offer to take part in the groundhog’s prognostication ceremony. And Sager made White an honorary citizen of Woodstock at the festival.
The Woodstock Idol competition expounds on his attachment to the town.
“It involves everything that’s important to Bryan,” said Tami Borman of the event. She first met the recording artist when he performed at her private birthday party years ago.
White instantly became friends with the family, and has stayed in touch.
“I just fell in love with the people, and the town is so quaint and nice,” White said. “You have a unique connection with certain people from time to time and it’s definitely been that way with Woodstock. ... This is giving us an opportunity to really say, ‘Thank you.’ ”
White has achieved numerous accolades throughout his career, including a Grammy. Among his top hits is “From the Moment On,” a duet recorded with Shania Twain.
He’s recently gotten back into the world of country music after taking a break to focus on his family, his wife, actress Erika Page, and the couple’s two young boys. As part of a Kickstarter campaign, he raised enough money to record an album that is nearly complete.
He sought to do the album without the use of a record label, in a more “organic” way.
The album, with a working title of “Shine,” does not have an official release date yet, as White said he’s still putting the finishing touches on it.
He said he tried to work as closely as he could with the supporters who helped him fund the album while making it.
“Having not had a hit song on the radio in a few years, to realize that you still have that much support out there was really an emotional thing for me,” he said of the Kickstarter campaign.
“I feel a huge responsibility to make something that is great and awesome and pure, and all the while along the way I’ve tried to keep all the fans and pledgers abreast of what’s going on and stay open to suggestions,” he said.
Still country in many ways, this new album is more progressive than others and will have some elements of rock ’n’ roll, he said.
He plans to perform some of his new songs, as well as his popular hits, at the upcoming concert.
Following the event, he and a couple friends are running the Chicago Half Marathon Sept. 8 in support of Ordinary Hero. The Bormans are running the event’s 5K for the cause. A child advocacy organization, Ordinary Hero helps families hoping to adopt and raises awareness of the orphan crisis.
“My wife is an adoptee, and we’re passionate about it,” White said.