BEMIDJI -- Twelve young singers took the stage on Wednesday in the first year of the Bemidji Sings competition at BSU’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex.

Taking first and second place, respectively, Susannah Roed and Andrew Hokanson will proceed to Woodbury in September for the statewide vocal competition, Minnesota Sings. The local version of the competition was open to Bemidji youth ages 15-25, performing songs that spanned the genres.

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“Last year, I heard about it, and this year I thought ‘We can host it; we can do this,’” said Tricia Andrews, executive director of Headwaters Music and Arts. “It’s kind of cool that regardless of the town’s size, everyone has that same chance to be the winner at that Minnesota Sings event in September.”

As a result of taking first place, Roed received a $300 prize as well as recording time in the Bemidji-based Supple Studios. As runner-up, Hokanson took home a $150 prize. If fortunate enough to receive first place in Minnesota Sings, Roed or Hokanson would win a $5,000 prize.

Although this was the first year Headwaters School of Music and Arts brought the competition to Bemidji, the competition that has turned into Minnesota Sings has been ongoing for nearly a decade since beginning as a local competition in Hastings. So far this year, there are approximately 35 towns throughout the state that will send singers to the statewide final competition.