Guitar-rocking teen wins ‘Diamond’ crown

WHITE ROCK – Guitarrocking redhead Curtis Heimburger won the Diamond in the Rock youth talent contest with a catchy original song and a pair of choice covers.


Curtis, 16, a student at Elgin Park Secondary, played his way to victory during the contest final Sunday afternoon at Blue Frog Studios in White Rock.


He sang his own "Break Down and Cry" song, plus Jake Bugg’s "Lightning Bolt" and Matt Anderson’s "I Play the Fool For You," for which he used a socket from his dad’s tool kit as a slide on his acoustic guitar ("He wouldn’t let me use a beer bottle," Curtis told the crowd).


Josh Bogert, 13, also a student at Elgin Park, placed a close second in the contest, while Isobel Ralph, 15, took third.


Seven contest finalists, all of whom live on the Semiahmoo Peninsula, performed Sunday following two months of weekly playoff rounds at The Roadhouse Grill restaurant on King George Boulevard.


The other finalists were Alisha Dhanday, Alia Lust Pidgeon, Dani Scott and the duo of Serena Juby and Miranda Gilbert. Each were given time to play three songs during Sunday’s session, organized by Dennis Peterson and Dave Chesney.


Judges for the final round were Heidi McCurdy, Doug E. Lachance, Brad Graham, Michele Partridge and Tom Zillich.


This Saturday (May 10), Curtis and his band, the high-energy rock trio Switch to Black, will perform at the IGNITE! youth festival, at the Cultch on Venables Street, Vancouver. On Friday (May 9), performers at the fest will include Tommy Alto (the leader of which is a former Diamond in the Rock contest winner who guestperformed Sunday) and also Minstry of Misfits (whose singer, Jenny Kalicharan, won the teen category of last year’s BC Junior Talent Search in Cloverdale).


Meanwhile, this year’s edition of BC Junior Talent Search continues with another round of open auditions Friday, May 9 at Central City Shopping Centre. The contest semifinals will be held May 15, followed by a showcase May 16 and finals on Monday, May 19 at Cloverdale Rodeo & Country Fair.