February 11 , 2008

Father Frenchie CDs
Kirsten Russell


***** for immediate release *****

Kirsten Russell, a Junior from Greely HS, won the title of “The Best Young Solo Artist in Maine” in Reindeer Record’s 1stAnnual RO4UNO competition.

Kirsten was one of six competitors who graced the stage this past Sunday at McAuley Performing Arts Center in Portland at the RO4UNO Finals.  A combined tally by a panel of highly qualified judges and audience ballots earned the petite 16-year-old singer-songwriter the top prize, which also included a mobile recording package and $250 cash.

Kirsten Russell’s defining moment came during her fourth and final song, “I Wish I Could Tell You,” a song written about a close friend of hers who was killed in a car accident. “Kirsten’s last song was one of the most emotionally driven performances I have ever seen,” said Assistant Producer Hudson Eakin. “Everywhere I looked audience members were crying. She brought a room of almost 200 people to tears”

Preparations for RO4UNO started last fall when Reindeer Records began taking registrations. About 50 artists expressed an interest in competing, but only 21 met the strict registration guidelines required of the participants. Over two weeks of showcases in January, a panel of judges and a highly supportive audience collectively decided who the “Top 5 Young Solo Artists in Maine” were: Casey Benner (Greely HS), Alyra Donisvitch (Home-schooled), Kristyn Murphy (John Bapst Memorial HS), Kirsten Russell (Greely HS), and Michael Weber (Edward Little HS). Hannah Rodrigue (Lewiston HS) also competed as MaineToday.com’s Wildcard Entry.

Kirsten Russell spoke highly of the competition’s first year of realization, “RO4UNO was one of the best experiences ever. Everyone was so helpful and the competitors were so nice. I always felt really comfortable with everyone and I learned so much from the judges comments on my performance.”

“When we first started working on RO4UNO, we had no idea of what to expect,” Hudson explained. “The massive amount of diversity and talent that we saw when the registration forms started coming in was far more than we could’ve hoped for. RO4UNO’s first year was a huge success, and we hope that RO4UNO2 will be met with just as many pleasant surprises next year.”

Complete information about the event, including videoclips, soundclips, photos and bios for all 21 contestants can be found at http://entertainment.mainetoday.com/ro4uno.




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