News From Terre Haute, Indiana

July 10, 2013

Caleb Sutherland gets crowd’s vote to win ‘The Vocalist’ competition at Vigo County Fair

Dustyn Fatheree
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — The crowd burst out in applause as Caleb Sutherland was announced the winner of the 2013 “The Vocalist” competition Tuesday night.

Sutherland won the crowd’s majority vote after he performed the song “Blow Me Away” by Christian rock band Building 429 in competition against nine other finalists at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds.

“Winning this competition is pretty awesome,” he said afterward.

He said he attended a Building 429 concert a couple months ago and was inspired by its performance. Instead of just sitting on the inspiration, he decided to learn and perform the song, he said.

“I want to become a career musician,” he said. “I will be performing contemporary, folk and acoustic music.”

Jeffery Richardson, second place, and Tricia Sullivan, third place, are also looking forward to their futures in music.

“I would love to make an album with the [free recording time] I’m given,” Richardson said. “This is the first step to become a performer one day.”

Richardson enjoys performing Motown and Doo-wop type music, he said.

Sullivan said she will stick with a softer and jazz-oriented genre.

“I am definitely excited,” she said with a smile. “I didn’t expect to get in the top three when I initially entered the contest.”

Sutherland was awarded 10 hours of recording and mix time at FTC Productions Inc. at the Conservatory of Music and 100 CDs of the finished product to sell.

Richardson will receive six hours of recording and mix time with 50 CDs being produced, and Sullivan will receive two hours of recording and mix time dubbing 25 CDs.

Ron Cook, co-producer at FTS productions Inc. and Conservatory of Music, said he and his colleagues will discuss what each finalist wants to accomplish with their awarded studio time.

“We have vocal teachers to help them with any concerns they may have,” he said. “We also recommend the finalist to various venues that may need some live performers.”

According to the “The Vocalist” 2013 rules and regulations manual, contestants submitted CDs with a song and the judges narrowed entrants down to a top 25. The individuals chosen from the initial entries come and perform in front of the judges live. The judges then announced the top 10 that performed Tuesday night.

This year, the judges, were vocal teachers Angie Wilson and Ron Maurey and traveling vocal performer LouAnn Newburn.

The Vigo County Fair will continue today at 8 a.m. with a 4-H dairy and pygmy goat show followed by the rooster crowing contest at 11 a.m.

Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached at 812-231-4255 and