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Rising Stars raises $10,000 for LIFE Art

South Stage Cellars' 2015 Rising Stars music competition raised a total of $10,000 to donate to LIFE Art, a community youth stress- prevention program that provides creative outlet to teens.

The money will allow the nonprofit program, directed by Phil Ortega, to move into a downtown studio located along Middleford Alley in Medford.

Regional musicians and bands performed over four weekends at the semifinals in Redmen Hall, then at the final round held last Saturday on the Britt stage. Proceeds from ticket sales and audience votes contributed to the total sum.

The winner of the final round was exclusively decided by audience votes — judges were on hand only in the case of a tie.

Medford rock band The Evening Shades took the win, along with $1,000, free time in a professional studio and paid gigs at various Southern Oregon venues.

The Brothers Reed had a running chance with its impressive set of original, feel-good guitar and vocal duos that ended with a heart-stopping arrangement of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah.

Kudos also go out to Mysha Caruso, Jesse Baldwin and Nancy Martin of Kites & Crows.