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Come Sunday, it’s time to cast your vote in the Country Idol contest, co-presented by The Billings Gazette and the Billings Symphony Orchestra.

The five contestants will give a preview of their talents at the BSO’s Symphony in the Park at 7 p.m. Sunday. Then, go online to and listen to the videos and vote for your favorite.

Voting begins at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and runs through midnight on July 6. You may log on and vote once every day throughout the contest.

The musician with the most votes will be featured in the March 2015 “Gone Country” concert with the BSO. The Gazette will announce the winner in July.

In the running are two Montana musicians, Ellen Moak of Billings and Desja Eagle Tail of Crow Agency.

Moak is a graduate of Rocky Mountain College and she fronts the band Ellen and the Old School.

Eagle Tail is a student at Montana State University Billings who has performed with the MSU Billings jazz band and headlined shows at the Alberta Bair Theater and MSU Billings.

They are up against three Wyoming musicians, including Doug Balmain of Laramie, Wyo.; Jill Wright of Buffalo, Wyo.; and Amyntas Hinckley of Cowley, Wyo.

Wright is married with four children. She sang every chance she got and in college at the University of Wyoming, she was a member of the Centennial Singers.

Balmain writes music that incorporates rock, folk and blues. He has performed extensively throughout Montana and Wyoming and the Northwest.

Hinckley said she discovered her natural tone and vibrato at the age of 12 and has been writing songs and performing ever since.


Entertainment Reporter

Jaci Webb covers entertainment for The Billings Gazette.