The judging panel for the Wexford People-sponsored Wexford Has Talent auditions has been announced, with three experts in variety performance, music and dance on the judging team.
Auditions take place at Clayton Whites Hotel in Wexford on Sunday, January 19, from noon to 6 p.m. and entrants can book a free audition slot of www.wexfordhastalent.com
Judges Eric Hayes, Catherine 'Biddy' Walsh and Edel Quinlan bring a weight of experience to the table.
Edel Quinlan has been Principal of Centre Stage School of Ballet & Performing Arts in Waterford for the last 15 years. She has choreographed for Wexford Light Opera Society, Wexford Opera Festival and for Carrick on Suir Musical Society and is herself no stranger to performing, having danced on a local and national level.
Her students were selected as Best Overall Group at the Irish National Dance Awards and they have competed internationally in Romania as part of the World Dance Championships.
Eric Hayes is no stranger to the stage having starred in a variety of stage roles over the past 15 years. A previous Best Male Singer award winner in the Guinness Wexford Festival Singing Pubs, he was also selected as Best Male Singer in the Tops of the Town competition. More recently he has been seen on stage as MC and solo performer in Sing Out Loud in the National Opera House and he is also the current Chairperson and former Secretary of Wexford Light Opera Society.
Catherine 'Biddy' Walsh well known in Wexford and beyond as an actress, entertainer and comedienne. In her younger days she acted and directed with Wexford Pantomime Society; she is a founder member of Oyster Lane Theatre Group; and has been a stalwart with Taghmon Tops group on and off stage.
Catherine is long time member of Wexford Light Opera Society and has featured in many productions with them for more years than she cares to remember. She is the proud winner of AIMS Best Supporting Female on two occasions, the first for the role as Meg Brockie in the production of 'Brigadoon', and more recently as Felicia Gabriel in 'Witches of Eastwick', the WLOS AIMS Best Overall Show in 2013.
Catherine is in great demand from charitable organisations as MC for events all over the county, a task which she is always delighted to perform.
The judges will offer their professional feedback and support to acts on the day of the auditions.
The organisers are encouraging as many acts as possible to pre-register for their audition place on www.wexfordhastalent.com as this will ensure the least amount of waiting time for contestants. However, the judges will see all acts that turn up on the day.
Approximately 24 to 30 acts will progress from the auditions on January 19 to take part in the live audience semi-finals at Clayton Whites on Saturday, February 1, and Sunday, February 2, with the Grand Final taking place on Saturday, February 29.
The overall winner of Wexford Has Talent 2020, sponsored by the Wexford People, will collect a cash prize of €2,000. Cash prizes of €750 will also go to the winners on three categories: Over 25's, Variety and Under 25's Music & Song.
The acts who earn the judges' approval at the auditions will be featured in this newspaper on Tuesday, January 21, in a big reveal of the names of the semi-finalists.
Tickets for the semi-finals and the Grand Final will be released over the coming weeks, priced at €10 and €15 respectively.