Alex Meade did it my, well his, way.
Meade, a senior at Betsy Layne High School, performed his version of Frank Sinatras
My Way flawlessly to win the 10th annual Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday,
March 12 at the Mountain Arts Center.
I did it my way, Meade said with a smile while signing autographs after the competition.
I was surprised when they called my name. All of the performers were incredible and
deserving to be here.
Presented by Gearheart Communications and Big Sandy Community and Technical College
(BSCTC), Big Sandy Idol celebrated its 10th anniversary in grand style. A group of
founding members of the Big Sandy Singers performed on both nights of the competition.
The founding members of the Big Sandy Singers really paved the way for this, said
Clayton Case, who serves as director of fine arts at BSCTC. Laura [Ford Hall] and
Tim [Cooley] took an idea and morphed it into something that has benefited countless
students, myself included.
The founding Big Sandy Singers who participated were: Laura Ford Hall, Tim Cooley,
Frances Hackney, Troy Burchett, Ryan Shepherd, Dustin Newsome, Brandon Maynard, Reca
Maynard, Beth Castle, Chesi Spriggs, Susan Scott, Candace Kelly and Clayton Case.
Since its inception, more than 1,200 students have performed at Big Sandy Idol shows
at area high schools and the Mountain Arts Center. BSCTC has awarded more than $500,000
in scholarships to deserving students to participate in the Big Sandy Singers and
Karlie Sincell, of Phelps High School, was crowned the wild card winner on Friday,
March 11 and earned a spot in the final round on Saturday, March 12. Belfry High Schools
Payton Trout was first-runner-up and Ally Davis, of Prestonsburg High School, was
Colby OBryan, of Allen Central High School, won the Big Sandy Idol essay contest.
East Ridge High Schools Chelsie Hatfield and Lauren Dotson, of Phelps High School,
were named crowd favorites on March 11 and March 12, respectively.
Judges for this years competition were David Tahere, an assistant professor of music
at Covenant College; Chery Brendel, a voice instructor at Lee University; Ron Brendel,
associate professor of music at Lee University; and Heather Gearheart, mediation attorney
for Gearheart Communications.
Ron Brendel is the voice coach for NBCs The Voice winner Jordan Smith.
The musical talent in eastern Kentucky is second to none, said BSCTC President Dr.
Devin Stephenson. A classically trained pianist, Dr. Stephenson performed with the
Big Sandy Singers and Band on both nights during the regional competition. Were proud
to advocate for the arts across our region and provide high school students the opportunity
to display their talents on a stage such as this.
Case said the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition would not be possible without the
support of Gearheart Communications.
Gearheart Communications and the Gearheart family have a long-standing history of
supporting our college and the work we do, said Case. Big Sandy Idol would not be
possible without their support and generosity.
Other sponsors for this years event included: Food City, Orange Leaf of Pikeville,
Pepsi Bottling Group and Dr. Lee Boyd.