PRESTONSBURG – Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry has announced open auditions for its Junior Pro program in early-March. Auditions will be held at the Mountain Arts Center on Saturday, March 4 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Vocalists and instrumentalists will be welcomed to the tryouts. Students ranging from Kindergarten through 12th grade for the fall semester of 2017 are eligible. Vocalists will need to be prepared to sing a verse and the chorus of “My Old Kentucky Home” and a song of their choice. Instrumentalists need to have a song of their choice and chord charts or tablature for the judges to follow along. All students need to bring a photo and a short bio with them.
The Junior Pro program was created in 1992 as a training ground for Billie Jean Osborne’s Kentucky Opry. The students and musicians represent some of the finest young talent in Eastern Kentucky and the region. There are numerous notable alumni. Among the alumni is vocalist Rebecca Lynn Howard, a Magoffin County native who received the 2003 nomination for the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Female Artist.
Other former members are currently working in Nashville or touring the country. They include J.T. Cure (Chris Stapleton bassist), Kory Caudill (Justin Moore band member), Roger Coleman (Justin Moore band member), Beau Tackett (Blake Shelton guitarist) and Brittany Taylor, vocalist for Triple Run. Current Kentucky Opry members that rose through the program include Garland Rogers, Cody Branham, Katlyn Good and Megan Bryant.
Mountain Arts Center Executive Director Clayton Case is also a Junior Pro alumnus.
“Continuing the tradition of scouting talent throughout Eastern Kentucky, something Miss Billie started, and giving them a place to learn and play, is extremely important to us,” Case commented.
Case also beamed about the local talent.
“There’s so much talent in the youth of Eastern Kentucky,” Case said. “The Kentucky Opry Junior Pros gives them an excellent opportunity to learn, play, and receive stage and musical experience.”
For more information about the Junior Pro program, call the Mountain Arts Center at (606) 889-9125.