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Students to perform in ‘J-Factor’ contest

Nine young people will compete next week in James Valley Youth for Christ’s Christian music vocal contest — J-Factor.

The show begins at 7 p.m. April 11 at the theater in Jamestown High School. It is free.

“We wanted to encourage young people to sing Christian music,” said Troy Gunderson, executive director of James Valley Youth for Christ. “… the music has to be intended as a Christian piece designed to lift the name of God or Christ, and there’s a lot of different music genres out there.”

Singers have chosen a variety of music for the competition, including contemporary Christian tunes as well as old favorite hymns. Some have even written their own original music, though judging will still be based on vocal and performance quality.

Some performers will play piano or guitar as well as sing, and others will be accompanied by recorded music, Gunderson said.

Four people have agreed to serve as judges.

Meredith Meidinger teaches music at Roosevelt Elementary School. Ken Aune is a band director at Jamestown Middle School. Jeff Prentice will graduate from the University of Jamestown’s music education program in May. And Alexis Barnick competed on “American Idol” and has participated in many singing contests.

“They’re really excited about it,” Gunderson said.

Youth for Christ is still accepting late sign-ups for the competition.

Students need to be in ninth through 12th grade, but cannot be older than 18, and they must be singing music intended to glorify God. Performances must be solo vocal performances with no more than two instruments as accompaniment.

Anyone wishing to join the contest may call 252-5501.

“First, we want to support our young people and the gifts they’ve been given,” Gunderson said. “We really would like to see this event start well, because we would like to continue it.”

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at (701) 952-8453

or by email at