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LIers with talent could win $2,000 scholarships

A long-standing, free summer concert series in Stony Brook Village is taking on a competitive twist with the addition of the Long Island’s Got Talent contest.

The concert series, hosted by the Ward Melville Heritage Organization, will be an integral part of the Long Island’s Got Talent contest, which will award two $2,000 college scholarships.

Vocalists and musicians from Nassau and Suffolk counties between the ages of 10 and 17 are eligible to compete. Entries, in the form of a 2-minute DVD, will be accepted until March 4. There is also a $25 entry fee.

The original submission deadline was Friday, said Marie Gilberti, communications manager for WMHO, but it was pushed back because of the interest the contest has drawn.

“It’s been extremely popular,” she said.

Gilberti said eight semifinalists will be chosen from the submissions and those eight people will each perform at one of the Sunday night summer concerts that WMHO hosts throughout July and August.

When the series ends, a panel of judges chosen by the WMHO will pick five finalists who will perform at WMHO’s Educational and Cultural Center in October, at which time a first- and second-place contest winner will be picked.

The first- and second-place winners will each win a $2,000 scholarship to Five Towns College in Dix Hills. The first-place winner will also receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Gilberti said the organization was happy to find a sponsor in Five Towns College because the college has a prestigious music program.

“We were looking for a scholarship opportunity for a nice prize,” she said. “Five Towns is a musical college and the competition is for kids interested in pursuing music.”

She said the cash prize for the first-place winner is courtesy of Competitive Automotive Group.

Submissions can be sent to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization, Long Island’s Got Talent at P.O. Box 572, Stony Brook, NY 11790.

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