PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical College will host the 10th annual Big Sandy Idol competition at the Mountain Arts Center Friday and Saturday. The show will start at 7 p.m. on Friday night when the Big Sandy Singers kick off the night with a high energy Shut Up and Dance celebration.
Twenty-nine contestants will be competing to win the title of Big Sandy Idol. The Big Sandy Idol competition resulted from a collaboration of Laura Ford Hall, Associate Professor of Communication at BSCTC and Clayton Case, director of fine arts at BSCTC.
“It’s been a remarkable year for music in our region,” said Case. “We watched artist such as Chris Stapleton burst on to the scene, and when things like that happen, it brings attention to amazing talent we have walking the halls of our area schools.”
Friday night’s performers include: Wesley Hager of Prestonsburg, Casey Tackett of South Floyd, Alex Campbell of Prestonsburg, Chelsie Hatfield of East Ridge, Mackynzie Samons of Allen Central, Nathan Brinager of Pike Central, Caitlyn Bowman of Belfry, Karlie Sincell of Phelps, Destiny Waddle of Betsy Layne, Dillon Conley of Johnson Central, Jondra Gibson of Shelby Valley, Shawna Maynard of Sheldon Clark, Olivia Davis of Pikeville Independent, and Katelyn Fitch of Paintsville.
Saturday night’s performers include: Michael Hamilton of Johnson Central, Ally Davis of Prestonsburg, Justin Lovern of Pike County Central, Katie Ratliff of East Ridge, Brooklyn Shepherd of Magoffin County, Alex Meade of Betsy Layne, Lauren Dotson of Phelps, Tori Stepp of Sheldon Clark, Sandra Sanders of Shelby Valley, Kassidy Clatworthy of Wesley Christian, Colby O’ Bryan of Allen Central, Payton Trout of Belfry, Audrey Caudill of South Floyd, Grace Maynard of Paintsville Independent, and Maddie Willard of Pikeville Independent. Saturday night is sure to bring a thunder of applause as supporters cheer for their favorite contestant.
Big Sandy Idol offers contestants the opportunity to win a scholarship to Big Sandy Community and Technical College, album recording session with the Mountain Arts Studio, and a cash prize.
Since its inception, the Big Sandy Idol program has awarded more than $250,000 in scholarships and the program has allowed students the opportunity to be a part of the Big Sandy Singers and Band, an elite group of auditioned vocalist and musicians comprised of BSCTC students.
“I love to see how people react to my music. If I win I will use the scholarship money to go to BSCTC and get my basics in before transferring to a four year college and finishing my college degree. I just love to see people smile and be happy. Music makes people happy,” said Alex Campbell, Idol contestant and Prestonsburg High School senior.
“I can’t remember a time in my life that I haven’t been singing. My Uncle Jim and Cousin Kim are two people who really encouraged me as a singer. I am dedicating my performance to them,” said Destiny Waddle, Idol contestant and Betsy Layne High School Sophomore.
All of this year’s participants will perform with a live band during the regional competition. The members of the band include Caleb Hall on drums; Michael Stevens and Will Hayes on guitar; Haley Sullivan on keyboard and Aaron Curnutte on Bass.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606-794-0290.