News: Greenwood, Ind., native wins Balad's Rising Star contest
By the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs Office
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -- A native of Greenwood, Ind., won Joint Base Balad's Operation Rising Star contest Sept. 14, 2008.
Army Capt. Lisa Kopczynski performed Susan Tedeschi's "It Hurt So Bad," earning a $500 cash prize and a chance to compete online via recorded video on the Operation Rising Star Web site, www.oprisingstar.com.
"Singing is a longtime passion of mine, so this was one way for me to bring a little bit of home out here," said Kopczynski, the public affairs officer for the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Mayor Cell.
The grand prize for the top performance is an all-expense-paid trip to Los Angeles to record a three-song demo CD. The trip includes professional studio time and one-on-one time with music executives who will coach the winner in music arrangement, vocals, mixing and mastering.
The top 12 vocalists from the online competition will perform at live finals Nov. 12-15. Second- and third-prize winners will receive $1,000 and $500, respectively. The Pentagon Channel will air the competition live.
"I'm looking forward to whether I'll make the top 12," Kopczynski said. "Either way, this has been a fun and memorable experience for me. I really enjoyed being with other servicemembers who love to sing."
The 2008 Rising Star competition allowed service members at eight deployed locations in Iraq, Kosovo and Honduras to compete, said Kristen Kea, event planner manager at the Army's Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command.
In addition, military family members were eligible to compete in this year's contest -- an addition that "really show the community the talent that exists in our military family," Kea said.