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posted: 2/18/2013 3:30 PM

Singing competition finalists get ready to HOWL

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  • Video: Amanda Brommell

Daily Herald report

The 10 finalists for the Almost Home Foundation's singing competition are getting ready to HOWL on Friday, as contestants will take to the stage at the Forest View Educational Center.

HOWL is the first singing competition Almost Home has run, and is a fundraiser for the Northwest suburban organization that cares for homeless dogs and cats.

The HOWL finals will be from 6:30-10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at FVEC, 2121 S. Goebbert Road, Arlington Heights. Tickets are $8-$15 and available at; click on "Buy Tickets Now."

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. for food and drink sales, and to get a look at raffle items and Almost Home Foundation merchandise. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Besides the finalists, it features dance entertainment from Dorothy's Dance Unlimited, The Edge Dance Academy, Schaumburg High School Orchesis, and Dance For Me Performing Arts Center.

The evening's host is Adrian Brigham, the artist and repertoire and marketing manager for The Continental Entertainment Group, a concert promoter and producer. Brigham is the booking agent for a dozen stars, including Pat Boone, Jack Jones, Denise Brigham, Bertie Higgins and the Four Preps.

The judges are:

• Dan McGuinness: McGuiness has opened up for, sat in or performed with various bands, including Pat Benatar and Creedence Clearwater Revisited. He won the 2010 Suburban NiteLife's Best of the Burbs "Best Acoustic Solo Performer" award.

• Joyce Daniels Avery: A lyric mezzo-soprano, whose has soloed with Basically Bach, the Naperville Community Chorus, Ars Musica Chicago, DuPage Opera Theatre, His Majestie's Clerkes, and Holy Name Cathedral's Chamber Singers.

• John Austin Van Hook: Van Hook was a District 211 choral teacher, music department chair at Schaumburg High School and District Curriculum Chair for Music. He was a soloist with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra and has performed in New York's Town and Carnegie halls. He has directed Equity productions at Wagon Wheel Resort and Pheasant Run, and shows for community theater around the region.

• Denise Brigham: Brigham is an American pops standards recording artist with Gold Label Artists in Beverly Hills, whose 2009 album "Hotel LaFayette" topped the national Adult Standards radio charts and was chosen one of the top five Standards albums of the year. Today her music can be heard on radio stations across the U.S. and she performs in concert with pops symphonies or her own production show.