A&E notebook: Smokey Robinson judging First Night sing-off |
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A&E notebook: Smokey Robinson judging First Night sing-off

In this photo provided by the Motown Museum, Smokey Robinson, right, speaks at an event honoring Maxine Powell, left, Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, at the Motown Museum in Detroit. Powell directed the label's Artists Development Department, also known as 'Motown's Finishing School.' She guided many, including Robinson's Miracles, the Jackson Five and the Supremes.
This CD cover image released by Warner Bros. Records shows 'Holiday Wishes,' by Idina Menzel.
Matt Sayles/Invision/AP
Harry Styles, from left, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik of the musical group One Direction accept the award for pop/rock band, duo or group on stage at the 42nd annual American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Soul star Smokey Robinson has been named the judge for the Highmark First Night sing-off competition.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this exciting event that supports young talent and fosters arts education,” the leader of the Miracles said in a news release. “I look forward to reviewing the auditions and hearing from some of the region’s most promising stars of the future.”

The sing-off is a competition for students from grades six through 12 in 29 counties in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. The winner will perform at First Night and get a $500 prize plus $1,000 for their school.

The deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. Dec. 12. The entry form is at, and entrants must include a link to a YouTube video with a performance recording. Applicants must choose one song written by Robinson and one song of their own choice.

— Bob Karlovits

Menzel to give recital at Benedum in 2015

Singer Idina Menzel, whose rendition of “Let It Go” from “Frozen” made her a household name, is going on tour next year and will perform at the Benedum Center, Downtown, on Aug. 25.

The Broadway star performed the movie hit on the Oscars broadcast before returning to the stage for an Tony-nominated performance in “If/Then.” She also has a new Christmas album, “Holiday Wishes,” out now.

Tickets for the Benedum performance go on sale at 10 a.m. Dec. 5.


— Tribune-Review

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