BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - The results are in, and one of the winners of the Groove U 1 Take Wonder Contest is a resident of Van Wert, Brandon Jacomet. This first-ever contest featured more than 300 participating artists with a combined 35,000 views on YouTube. Groove U's mobile recording studio captured and these contestant's "one take" at events around the Midwest.
Groove U is a two-year music business career program located in Columbus, Ohio. The program focuses on a career-centered approach to learning developed by active industry professionals. The school officially opened its brand new 30,000-square foot campus is September.

"It seems like every year a new reality TV talent competition pops up that is over-produced and autotuned. Who hasn't watched one of those shows and thought, 'I can do better than that!', asked Dwight Heckelman, Director of Groove U's revolutionary music career program. "We found a way to showcase authentic local artists who are just as good, if not better, than those we see on TV."

One such artist is Brandon Jacomet who came across a booth at a festival in Fort Wayne pertaining to this competition. Jacomet was recorded there on the spot playing guitar and singing, "Wagon Wheel" by Old Crow Medicine Show. The inspiration for this song came from a local band's rendition, and it has become a song that Jacomet really enjoys hearing and performing.

"It was a really tough competition," said Jacomet. "Those searching through Youtube cannot just find these videos, so it took support of a lot of people via Facebook to vote for me."

Jacomet has been singing for nearly a year now and has been playing the guitar for five or six years. While music is currently just a hobby, Jacomet's performance for Groove U won him first place in the semi-professional category, one of only three separate categories in the competition. Contest winners will be receiving gift certificates to Sweetwater Sound and iTunes gift cards.

Jacomet is currently deciding what career path to choose for college, but he has decided to stick with music even if it is only as a hobby.