WATCH: YorVoice gives local music a spotlight in pandemic
With the live music scene on shaky ground since the pandemic hit, YorVoice emerged as a refreshing showcase of local talent for the artists who participated this August.
Winners were announced for the York-area music competition on Aug. 15, after a virtual livestream of performers, including vocal champion Alyssa Colon and band champion See the Elephant and the Brass Peanuts.
"I went into it as a clean slate," said the 15-year-old Alyssa, when reached Aug. 24, saying she was just grateful to perform, as it's hard for underage musicians to book venues as it is — let alone during a pandemic.
The sixth annual YorVoice was slated to open at the Appell Performing Arts Center in March, but in light of COVID-19 it was moved to August and held online with pre-recorded submissions.
Alyssa, a West York Area High School student, sang an original song, encompassing some of the myriad genres she grew up with, including indie, industrial, ambient and neoclassical.
See the Elephant — a name based on an expression meaning "living big experience" — was a returning competitor this year.
"We just wanted to contribute to a cause and be an example to younger people to keep working on your music and you’ll just get better and better over time," bassist John Mayer said when reached Friday.
The Gettysburg-based band has been together five years, adding "the brass peanuts" — Doug Riley on saxophone and Michael Alexander Burton on trumpet — this year.
The original four-piece band is made up of Mayer, Matt Freeman and Roger Sine on guitar, and Joe Clark on drums.
Despite the sparse live music scene because of the pandemic, the band has a few outdoor gigs lined up, and Mayer said they'll continue playing for the love of the craft.
Hosted by the Cultural Alliance of York County and sponsored by Glatfelter Insurance Group, YorVoice serves to highlight hometown talent.
Others recognized this year were runner-up Jeannette Parker and People's Choice winner Teagan Tatcher, a York Suburban seventh grader — both reclaiming their titles for the second year running.