Shane Dittmar Named 2015 ‘Blind Idol’

Shane stands onstage after being presented with the check for winning Blind Idol.

I had the pleasure and the honor to compete on Saturday as one of five finalists in the first Blind Idol competition, sponsored by Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind, an organization providing “employment, training, and services to people who are blind or visually impaired.” The contest, as the name suggests, was an American Idol-esc singing competition for visually impaired residents of North Carolina, and was conducted in three phases. In the first phase, prospective entrants submitted recordings of themselves singing an exerpt of a song. Of those who entered, twenty were invited to a live semifinal round, held on the campus of Salem College in Winston-Salem in the beginning of December. Judges selected five of those twenty, myself included, to participate in the live finale, hosted at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem.

Each of the five contestants had a chance to perform two songs, in addition to the group number with which we opened the show. I played keyboard and, accompanied by a full band, performed two of my original songs: “Strong” and “The Art of Moving On.” After deliberation by the judges, I was selected as the winner of the competition, and received a prize package including cash, professional photography, and studio time. (More news on the studio time to come shortly!)

I’d like to extend my sincerest of thanks to IFB, and to Anastasia, who organized the event; to the staff of SECCA for helping to run the show so smoothly; to the band (Dan, Daniel, John, and Bill) and our music director, John, for helping to bring my songs to life; to my family and friends for your support and congratulations; to Charity Hampton, Taffany Bolger, Lucille Mahoney, and Jennifer Finely for being such a thrill to perform alongside; and to everyone I haven’t listed who made this all possible. I am thankful beyond words. Stay tuned for more news to come about recording and performing projects.