‘Song Stage Midwest’ season two wraps up filming

Angelica Cataldo, Entertainment Reporter

Olivia Swenson-Hultz | The Daily Eastern News Sedd the Light plays and sings his original song “Cool Breeze” during the filming of Song Stage Midwest in the Doudna Theater of the Doudna Fine Arts Center Friday.
Olivia Swenson-Hultz | The Daily Eastern News
Sedd the Light plays and sings his original song “Cool Breeze” during the filming of Song Stage Midwest in the Doudna Theater of the Doudna Fine Arts Center Friday.

“Song Stage Midwest” concluded the filming of its second season Friday at the Doudna Fine Arts Center. The cast and crew had been filming content all week, but the filming of the entire performance portion of the show was done in front of a live audience on Friday night and will be broadcasted over WEIU-TV after editing.

At Doudna, the cast and crew were provided with a green room for make-up, hair and clothing changes and filmed in the Black Box for material aside from the main performances.

Producer Roy Wells and host Ryan Wiggins decided to bring “Song Stage Midwest” to Doudna through the recommendation of WEIU-TV’s publicity and outreach manager, Ke’an Armstrong.

“(Roy and Ryan) came over and we gave them a tour and all put our heads together and decided it was a good partnership,” Dwight Vaught, assistant dean of the Doudna Fine Arts Center, said. “It’s an idea of us taking the capabilities of the center and our people and pushing to the next level.”

Each featured artist prepared two original songs to perform live and competed against one another in a span of eight different episodes. In each episode, two artists performed their material and then were judged by the audience with a text poll. The person the audience picked won that round and then qualified for the second round of judging.

The winners of the first round then competed against one another for a second round of eliminations until three finalists were left to perform what they felt was their best song of the two they prepared. From the final three, the audience then chose the winner.

The winner of “Song Stage” will be announced when the final episode of season two airs on WEIU-TV.

The contestants of “Song Stage” came from a diverse background, with some of them never before performing for a televised contest. Certain artists had never performed or shared their original work for an audience. Many were musicians and singers deemed “undiscovered,” meaning not many people had heard of them or their music.

Contestant Pha Thaprawa performed two pop songs that no one had heard before “Song Stage” except for her family and boyfriend. She comes from a highly musical background, having played the piano and singing from a very young age.

“After this week of filming, I realized there are so many other talented artists that have way more experience than me,” Thaprawa said.

Thaprawa said there was an intimidation factor but also said she was ready to step up her game for her performance.

Contestant Christiana Ball, a former sergeant for the U.S Army, was the 2013 winner of Operation Rising Star, a singing competition for the U.S. military.

Contestant Brian Locascio and his bandmate Rodd Fenton performed on behalf of their band Goodbye Gravity.

Contestant Teri “Lyric” Green, a hip-hop artist and computer engineer who has been nominated for a Grammy, has performed in front of an audience of 20,000 people before performing on “Song Stage.”

“I like to be an example for women and let them know it’s not where you come from, it’s where you decide to go,” Green said.

Contestant Juan Luchini is a solo artist who has competed in music competitions before, back when he performed in Argentina.

Contestant Cedd the Light came from a musical background as well. His music can be found on iTunes.

Contestant Jessamyn Rains has an English degree, and a demo of her music is recorded on CD. She plays piano, guitar and the drums.

Contestant Dave Bartlett is a musician and songwriter who has previously played in bands when he was a teenager. For “Song Stage,” however, he took to the stage as a solo act. “Song Stage” was his first time performing in almost three years.

The eight artists were not aware of who they would be competing against until they met for the first time last week for filming. When the season premieres on television, the 16 songs the eight artists perform will be available to listen to on songstage.tv.

After wrapping up the filming, the content will be sent to postproduction for final edits before being broadcast. To find out updates on “Song Stage Midwest,” visit songstage.tv or follow the show on Facebook, and keep up with WEIU-TV’s schedule to follow the premiere of the first episode.


Angelica Cataldo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].