Eastern Kentucky’s best vocal talent from around the region was on display this weekend at the Mountain Arts Center. Students from area high schools gathered on Friday and Saturday for their chance to become the next 2018 Big Sandy Idol.
Twenty-eight students representing high schools from across Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties competed on March 9, 10th. On Friday, March 9, runners-up from each school performed for a Wild Card chance to advance to Saturday nights competition. For the first time in the history of Idol, there was a tie! Riveting performances by Mykayla Daniels from Johnson Central High School who sang “Run to You” by Whitney Houston and Danica Dye from Belfry High School who sang “Amnesia” advanced both on to Saturday.
Ms. Aliyah Allen from Johnson Central High School, brought home the coveted title of Big Sandy Idol at the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition in the Willard and Lucy Kinzer Theater at the Mountain Arts Center. She will get a full paid Scholarship, a coveted spot with the elite Big Sandy Singers and band, and an album recording.
Celeste Turner from Paintsville High School, pictured above, was first runner-up and also received the Senior Award which earns a spot with the elite Big Sandy Singers and Band. She performed “What a Beautiful Name It Is” by Hillsong Worship. Gracie Combs from Floyd Central High School was second runner-up and performed “Faithfully” by Journey.
Mallory Bowling, of East Ridge High School, was the essay contest winner and the Gearheart Communications Social Media Video Winner, and Cassidy Clatworthy, of Wesley Christian High School, was the Idol social media winner.
This year a special award was given to someone in the community who was fighting the good fight. Last year, Heather Gearheart, part of the Gearheart Communications Family was battling cancer. This year, she is in remission but wanted to give a thank you so someone who is making a difference. That award was received by Troy Burchett. Troy is a former member of the Big Sandy Singers. He has been legally blind since birth but continues his music career and donated his album release party money to a local animal shelter.
The Big Sandy Singers and Band and the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition, which is presented by Gearheart Communications and BSCTC, have awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships since it began 12 years ago.
Clayton Case, director of fine arts at BSCTC and executive director of the MAC, said an event of this magnitude would not be possible without the support of their sponsors.
“I want to thank Gearheart Communications and the Gearheart family for their long-standing support of our college and this program, Big Sandy Community & Technical College, Unique Boutique, and all the employees here at the Mountain Arts Center.” said Case. “
The Big Sandy Singers and Band performed both nights with the band providing the music for the contestants.
For more information on the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition or the Big Sandy Singers and Band, contact Case at (606) 889-9125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.