Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Chilkat Center to host singing competition


November 12, 2020

Haines singers will have a chance to compete and display their vocal talents in December for the first-ever “Haines Has Voice” contest organized by Tod Sebens.

Sebens has traditionally directed plays during the winter, but this year the pandemic has made that option unlikely.

“I always want to do a play every winter but that didn’t seem logical with all the circumstances,” Sebens said. “For a play you want a full audience and I know that’s not going to happen. With this (competition) it’s okay if it’s a quarter of an audience.”

Sebens is hoping to attract at least 30 singers. The competition will take place over the course of four rounds at four separate performances on Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Singers can perform up to two songs.

Two age groups, youths up to 18 years old, and adults will each compete. The singers will be scheduled for one of the first three performances. Finalists from each night’s performance will compete in the final round on Dec. 26.

Three judges will decide who advances to the final round. Judges will review singers based on qualities such as projection, tone, technique and stage presence.

“I think there’s probably a lot of singers hiding in the woodwork,” Sebens said. “There are a lot of people who go to karaoke night and open mic.”

He said judges will provide constructive criticism and singers shouldn’t be afraid of being judged harshly in public.

“This is not audience booing you or pulling you off the stage with a long cane,” Sebens said. “It’s constructive criticism. If you want to give it a shot, come on out and enjoy.”

Sebens will have to submit a mitigation plan to the Haines Borough Emergency Operations Center. Guidelines call for such plans to be submitted for all activities taking place with at least 20 people.

Sebens said he’s not interested in providing streaming options.

“It’s not my kind of theatre,” Sebens said. “I like live audiences.”

Call Tod at 907-321-2302 or email with questions or to sign up.


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