Local talent is not only displayed in the gallery of the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council or on the stages of Tarleton State University and the Birdsong Amphitheater.

Sometimes you can find it at a local department store.

Courtney Patton is competing in Maurice's Small Town Sound competition.

The contest has female bands vying for the top spot among 500 artists.

Though she started a week late and began in 500th place, Patton has worked her way up to the No. 8 spot of round one in just three weeks.

"We do this to tap into and highlight the female artists that put all their energy and enthusiasim into their music," Maurice's Marketing Manager Monica Hendrickson said.

At the end of the first round of voting, the top 50 bands will move on and be reviewed by a panel of music industry judges, who will select the top 10 bands. The 10 finalists will write a song that focuses on the theme of small town charm which will be posted in early December for a second round of public voting to determine the grand prize winner and two runners up.

The grand prize winner will receive a music package including a concert in front of the Stephenville Maurice's, the making of a music video, cool music gear and open for The Bangles at a major music festival.

"I am excited for the opportunity this may give me to rock with The Bangles," Patton said.

Stephenville Maurice's Manager Calli Spurger said her location is supporting Patton. There are flyers and posters in the store and the staff tells all the customers to vote.

"We wish her the best of luck in the competition," Spurger said.

Patton has been a singer/songwriter for the last 10 years.

"Because of family or work, I have always put my music off, but that's fine," Patton said.

She explained that she sings and writes because it's fun.

"It's fine because when it's not fun anymore, you don't want to do it," she said. "I always want my music to be fun."

She has recorded several songs including "Already Gone" which she is using as her sample song in the competition

Now, Patton and friends are voting every day to keep her moving up in the top 50 for round one.

Anyone can vote at www.mauricesmusic.sonicbids.com every day until Nov. 15.