“This is not American Idol or a contest. It’s the anti contest,” said AHA co-founder Jennifer Freed, just before an evening of performance on Sunday evening. “This is about having the courage to stand in front of you and sing out for joy and rapture and possibility.”
Around 350 people gathered at the large rotunda at Deckers’ Goleta headquarters in the early evening to watch 14 teenagers sing pop and rock hits, all with professional band backing them up.
It was the culmination of 12 weeks of rehearsals and training to take youths and help them confront their fears – lack of confidence, self-image, rejection – put it aside, and just “Sing It Out,” as the event was called.