Howard, who turns 18 next month, is one of six semifinalists in the competition for a full-ride scholarship to Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music, a prestigious music school in Hollywood that attracts budding musicians from around the world. If he finishes this stage of the competition among the top five in that group, Howard will be in the finals for the only full-ride scholarship offered.
The rankings at this stage of the competition are determined by a public vote. Friends, family and fans of Howard can cast one online vote per day for him at the following website:
Voting continues through July 23. The top five in the voting will be sent to Hollywood for a week and will have the opportunity to perform two cover songs with the institute's studio band. On Aug. 10 -- Howard's 18th birthday -- members of the institute will select one student from among the five to receive a full-ride scholarship. The other four will receive half scholarships.
Howard already has been accepted to the institute for the fall. A full scholarship would be the icing on the cake.
"Just getting there for the finals would be a big thing," said Donna Howard, Drew's mother. "A full scholarship would be a great accomplishment. You have to realize that this institute attracts musicians from all over the world."
Howard has been playing bass guitar since age 9. He performed with the Bell Mountain Middle School jazz band and has played with a local band. He created his own video for this competition during a video production course at Paloma Valley High School.
Howard is one of only two semifinalists from the United States and the only one from the west coast. He was chosen based on a video he personally produced that can be viewed on the voting site and at the YouTube link below.