Last year, The Academy held a similar contest with Yahoo Music to find a vocalist who ultimately performed with Justin Timberlake at The Grammys. For this year’s contest, they are seeking an instrumentalist and moving the contest from the popular but underused Yahoo site to Web-video behemoth YouTube.
"An appearance on the Grammy Awards is one of the highest honors a musical artist can achieve," said Ken Ehrlich, co-executive producer of the Grammy Awards, in a statement. "By opening our show to a new generation of young musicians who will realize their dreams early in their career, we hope to inspire a generation of future music-makers who will see that anything is possible."
The contest is forgoing rock instruments such as guitar and drums for classical instruments, such as violins, saxophones, clarinets and other strings, woodwinds and brass instruments. Interested musicians who are not currently signed by a label can submit 60-second performance clips on a YouTube microsite dedicated to the competition.
A panel selected by The Academy will select 45 quarterfinalists, and the public will take over from there, selecting the semifinalists, who will perform with The Foo Fighters in an orchestra and, eventually, the winner, who will perform with the band at the Grammys.
"Bringing all of these powerhouse brands together -- CBS, the Grammys, The Foo Fighters and YouTube -- to allow fans to be an integral part of the Grammy experience is what the interactive community is all about," said Joe Ferreira, senior vice president and general manager of CBS Audience Network, in a statement.