FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - (December 7, 2012) It is time to tune in, cast your vote and make a difference. The finals for the eighth season of Operation Rising Star begin Sunday and the Fort Wainwright contest winner is one of the top 12 finalists.

Calvin Snead, former Soldier, Army reservist, alumnus of the 2010 Army Soldier Show and husband of Staff Sgt. KaMesha Snead, Dental-Activity Alaska, is in Texas preparing to take the stage at the Fort Sam Houston Theatre.

Operation Rising Star, a military singing competition based on the FOX television show "American Idol," has celebrity judges and recording artists, and will be televised by the Pentagon Channel. Shows are schedule to air at 2 a.m., 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday with finale shows Dec. 15 and 16.

Those who don't have access to the Pentagon Channel can stream the program live on Voting will be open for two hours after each broadcast.

Snead, who flew south Saturday, got started rehearsing for the show early Monday. He said, "I am having a blast." Before he left he said, "One of the greatest opportunities is working with famous vocal coach Debra Byrd, who has been the main vocal coach on American Idol."

Snead impressed the judges and wowed the crowd during the local competition, a video of his performance was then sent to the Installation Management Command and FMWR Entertainment, where an expert panel of judges narrowed it down from 34 installations around the world.

Snead is hoping that members of the Fort Wainwright, Fairbanks and other Alaska communities tune in and support him through the voting process. He said, "I promise to make everyone proud. Music has allowed me to travel the world and meet, network and have experiences that only music can create.

Snead had to choose ten songs from a long list. "Although I'm a gospel artist," he said, "I think I've chosen a nice variety of music that should showcase my vocal range." Although he didn't reveal the entire list of songs chosen, he said he was leaning toward music made famous by John Legend and John Mayer. "You also might hear me sing some Lady Gaga or Kelly Clarkson," Snead said.

For more information on Operation Rising Star and how you can support Snead, call Family and MWR at 353-6043, PAO at 353-6700 or look for Calvin Snead, Fairbanks, Alaska on Facebook.