Update: Rebekah Dossou won the “Atlanta Symphony Songster 2010″ competition Saturday night at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park.
By Howard Pousner
Rebekah Dossou, one of three finalists in an Atlanta Symphony Orchestra amateur vocal competition, sings at weddings, the shower, her car and any other place where a vocalist can really cut loose.
But the Lilburn resident has never sung anywhere as large as Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, where Saturday she’ll perform “Over the Rainbow” while being backed by the ASO.
“I can’t wait,” said the 29-year-old mother of two who works as an office manager for Maggie Lyon Chocolatiers, a Norcross gourmet chocolate factory. “I think my whole body is nervous except for my brain. My brain hasn’t registered anything about this yet.”
Dossou sang in various ensembles at Brookwood High School, is in the choir at Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville, and last year won the “Lilburn Idol” competition. Her prize: an engraved brick in Lilburn’s City Park.
So when the ASO and Turner Classic Movies announced the “Atlanta Symphony Songster 2010″ competition, she boldly sent in a video of herself performing “Rainbow.” From nearly 100 entries, she was selected as a finalist along with Joseph Brewer of Columbus, Ga. and Christina Lewis of Cincinnati (to view their entries: www.atlantasymphony.org/songsterfinalists).
Dossou was “super excited, and a little bit shocked” to be selected. The three will sing before a program in which the ASO performs the score to “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be shown on giant screens.
Audience members (who can vote by text message) and online viewers (who can watch the competition streamed live and vote on UStream.com) will pick the winner. The first-place finisher scores a trip to New York to see the ASO at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 30.
Though she was born near Woodstock, N.Y., and spent the first few years of her life there before her family moved to Lilburn, Dossou has never visited the Big Apple. She said she’d love to win the trip, pledging, “I would see everything I could possibly see.”
She’s never performed the Judy Garland classic publicly but said she thinks it’s a beautiful song and has sung it to herself countless times. When she sings at weddings, occasional gigs she gets by word-of-mouth, her repertoire is “love songs, Christian songs, gushy mushy stuff.”
Dossou, who typically performs to recorded instrumental tracks, laughed heartily when asked if her fee will go up if she wins Saturday.
“No,” she replied, “not until I get better known and am in higher demand.”
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs ‘Wizard of Oz’ score
8:30 p.m. Saturday. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. Tickets, $27-$59, at the Woodruff Arts Center or amphitheater box offices, www.ticketmaster.com, or 1-800-745-3000.