VACAVILLE — A final night of crooning, guitar strumming and piano playing Wednesday capped off the six-week Singer-Songwriters’ Competition in downtown Vacaville.
The 14 finalists performed their original songs to a packed and enthusiastic crowd at the Vacaville Opera House.
Performers ranged from longtime musicians to beginners making their artistic debut. The competitors had an extra challenge finals night dealing with a temperamental speaker system. All got through their performances, even with the technical difficulties.
Judges graded each competitor on the quality of their performance and original song.
Each songwriter had some deep, personal meaning behind their songs. Marla Harvey said she wrote her song after the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, which coincided with the death of a family member. Dave MacCracken, who called himself the old competitor, said he wrote his song about young love. Gabriella Genevieve said she wrote a love song for her ex-boyfriend, but then rededicated the song to a new “light” in her life.
One of the biggest hits of the night wasn’t a finalist, but he was a competitor in an earlier round of the competition. Rick Durrenberg entertained the crowd while judges deliberated with his original song, “I would rather have a root canal.”
The song, he said, is about a girl who used to stalk him. When writing the song, he was inspired by the musical styling of another performer, he said.
“I thought to myself, ‘What would Jimmy Buffett do?’ ” he said.
After Durrenberg’s performance, the top three finishers were announced: Anna Terez placed third, Leroy Guzman was second and the winners were Marcel Kenion and Rebecca Peters, better known as Rebecca and Marcel.
Peters and Kenion said they were excited to win and felt they had come so far since they last competed in 2009.
“That was the first time we ever played together,” Peters said. “We’ve matured since then. We’ve come into ourselves.”
The other finalists included the band Ever Ours, Julia Ratterman, Justin Brieno, Loraine Meek, Dante Cameron, Mackenzie Annala, Eric Facteau and Maggie Ward.
For more information on Rebecca and Marcel, visit their Facebook page www.facebook.com/RebeccaandMarcel or YouTube page www.youtube.com/user/Rebeccaandmarcelrool.
Reach Heather Ah San at 427-6977 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HeatherMalia.