Maria Dontas of North Caldwell won the Essex County Singer Songwriter Competition after final round held last night in front of a full house at Just Jakes.
The contest benefitted local charities, in addition to giving promising young musicians a career boost. Dontas was awarded with recording and producing time valued at over $6,000.
Dontas, an indie singer/songwriter, was chosen out of eight contestants in the semi-finals, and four in the final round.
Five Non-Profits were represented at the event: Toni’s Kitchen, Parents Who Rock, The YMCA of Montclair, Zimm’s Fund and The North Essex Chamber Of Commerce. Over $1,200.00 was donated by the patrons at Just Jakes who came out to support their favorite singer/songwriter. Each dollar spent earned supporters a ticket which allowed them to vote in the final round of the competition for their favorite performer.
Local musician Michael Reitman told Baristanet that the place was packed. The judges included Martin Briley, a singer/songwriter who has written for Pat Benatar, N-Sync and Kenny Loggins.