News Archive

Big Sandy Idol 2015

Maggie Wilks 2011The Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition, presented by Gearheart Communications and Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), will be held Friday and Saturday, March 13 amp; 14at the Mountain Arts Center.

In its ninth year, the Big Sandy Idol program has awarded nearly $500,000 in scholarships to deserving students in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties.

Thirty-two participants from area high schools will participate for the coveted Big Sandy Idol award and a spot on the Big Sandy Singers and Band, as well as a full-paid scholarship, a full album recording and a cash prize.

The talent across our region is just amazing, said Clayton Case, director of Fine Arts at BSCTC. This years participants cover a wide range of genres and it will be another great show.

Last year, East Ridges Haley Sullivan and Clarke Sexton of Johnson Central were co-winners of the Big Sandy Idol crown, marking the first time in history the competition ended in a tie.

Sullivan, a member of the Big Sandy Singers and Band, was recently accepted to the music program at the prestigious Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.

On Friday, runner-up contestants from each high school will perform. A winner will be selected to advance to Saturdays final round. In addition, an Appalachian Wireless Wildcard will be selected to advance to the final round.

This year, more than 500 students auditioned and more than 140 competed in school level competitions. Brittany Taylor, Carri Gallo, Kelly Powers and Heather Gearheart will serve as judges.

Taylor, a Knott County native, was a member of the Kentucky Opry Junior Pros for 10 years before moving to Nashville, where she completed her degree in music business. She is a member of Triple Run, an up-and-coming trio, and writes for Spirit Music in Nashville.

Gallo earned a degree in music business from Belmont University and is currently creative director for Spirit Music in Nashville.

Powers has a vocal performance degree from Welch College in Nashville and serves as a private vocal coach in Floyd County. She and her husband, Barry, are partners in Ridgemont Church in Prestonsburg, where they are members of the praise team.

Gearheart is General Counsel at Gearheart Communications in Harold.

Tickets are $12 and group tickets are $8. The shows start at 7 p.m. each night. To purchase tickets, call 1-888-MAC-ARTS or visit www.macarts.com. Tickets will also be available the night of the shows.

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FLOYD COUNTY

Dakota Bentley

South Floyd High School

Dakota Bentley was the first-place winner at the South Floyd High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A minister at Wheelright Freewill Baptist Church, Bentley will perform Jesus Friend of Sinners by Casting Crowns at the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. A senior, Bentleys favorite movie is The Green Mile and his favorite food is pizza.

Brent Dye

South Floyd High School

Brent Dye was runner-up in the South Floyd High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Dye is undecided on what song he will perform on the opening night of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Dye is a fan of the band Linkin Park, and his favorite movie is 22 Jump Street.

Chelsea Frasure

Allen Central High School

Chelsea Frasure was the firstplace winner of the Allen Central High School Big Sandy Idol competition. The junior will perform Aerosmiths Dont Wanna Miss a Thing in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. A cheerleader and member of the BETA club and student council, Frasures favorite movie is Lone Survivor and her favorite television show is Greys Anatomy.

Jesse Osborne

Allen Central High School

Jesse Osborne was runner-up in the Allen Central High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Osborne will perform Darius Ruckers Homegrown Honey in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Osborne, a baseball and basketball player at Allen Central, loves to watch The Andy Griffith Show and plans to pursue a degree in business management.

Ally Davis

Prestonsburg High School

Ally Davis was the first-place winner of the Prestonsburg High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Davis is undecided on the song she will perform in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. She is a member of the honors choir, dance team, Jenny Wiley Theater and has been a member of the Kentucky Opry Junior Pros for the last seven years. Her favorite television show is Saturday Night Live and her favorite movie is Almost Famous.

Alex Campbell

Prestonsburg High School

Alex Campbell was runner-up in the Prestonsburg High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Campbell will perform Backwoods by Justin Moore in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Campbell plays football at Prestonsburg and is a member of the Science Olympiad. His favorite movie is Draft Day and he hopes to become a physical therapist.

Alex Meade

Betsy Layne High School

Alex Meade was the first-place winner of the Betsy Layne High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Meade is undecided on the song he will perform in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Meade is a member of the baseball team, BETA club, band, National Honors Society and Science Olympiad at Betsy Layne, as well as a junior firefighter and member of the Betsy Layne Freewill Baptist Church youth group.

Roger Hall

Betsy Layne High School

Roger Hall was runner-up in the Betsy Layne High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Hall will perform Standing in the Sun by Slash in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Hall is a member of the band at Betsy Layne and also has his own band This is for Robin.

PIKE COUNTY

Jondra Gibson

Shelby Valley High School

Jondra Gibson was the first-place winner of the Shelby Valley High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A freshman, Gibson will perform Forgive in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Gibsons favorite movie is Frozen and her favorite television show is The Bachelor.

Leah Tackett

Shelby Valley High School

Leah Tackett was runner-up in the Shelby Valley High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Tackett will perform You and I by Lady Gaga in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Tackett is a member of the soccer team, BETA club, National Honors Society, Junior Advisory Council and Wildcat Harmony Elite Choir at Shelby Valley, as well as a member of the Caney Creek Freewill Baptist Church youth group.

Lauren Dotson

Phelps High School

Lauren Dotson was the first-place winner in the Phelps High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Dotson will perform Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Dotson is a member of Project 7, Spanish Club, Book Club and Science Club at Phelps, as well as a member of the Pike County Youth Leadership Council.

Karlie Sincell

Phelps High School

Karlie Sincell was runner-up in the Phelps High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Sincell will perform Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Sincell is a member of Project 7, school leadership team, and BETA club at Phelps, as well as a member of the Pike County Youth Leadership Council. Her favorite movie is Sixteen Candles and her favorite television show is Pretty Little Liars.

Celeste Turner

Pike Central High School

Celeste Turner was the first-place winner in the Pike Central Big Sandy Idol competition. A freshman, Turner will perform Up to the Mountain in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. She is a jazz band singer at Pike Central, as well as a dancer with the Dance Elite competition team.

Justin Lovern

Pike Central High School

Justin Lovern was runner-up in the Pike County Central Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Lovern will perform Love Runs Out by One Republic in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Lovern plays basketball at Pike Central and plans to join the Army after graduation.

Payton Trout

Belfry High School

Payton Trout was the first-place winner of the Belfry High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Trout will perform A Change is Gonna Come in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. A member of the Kentucky Opry Junior Pros, Trout is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Spirit Club Praise and Worship Club and Yearbook staff at Belfry High School.

Cydney McCoy

Belfry High School

Cydney McCoy was the runner-up in the Belfry High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, McCoy will perform I Cant Make You Love Me in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. McCoy is involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, soccer and the Pike County Youth Leadership Council.

Katie Ratliff

East Ridge High School

Katie Ratliff was the first-place winner of the East Ridge High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Ratliff will perform And I Am Telling You Im Not Going in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Ratliff is a cheerleader and member of the academic and leadership teams at Shelby Valley.

Chelsie Hatfield

East Ridge High School

Chelsie Hatfield was the runner-up in the East Ridge High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Hatfield will perform Love Your Memory in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Hatfield is a member of the marching band, color guard, UNITE club, prom committee and 4H at East Ridge.

Haleigh Johnson

Pikeville High School

Haleigh Johnson was the first-place winner of the Pikeville High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Johnson will perform Over You in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Johnson is a member of the cheerleading squad at Pikeville, as well as the BETA club, pep club and National Honors Society.

Olivia Davis

Pikeville High School

Olivia Davis was the runner-up in the Pikeville High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Davis will perform Gravity in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Davis is a member of the Dance Etc. Elite team, as well as soccer, dance, pep club, Key club, National Honors Society, Future Business Leaders of America, BETA Club, Mock Trial, yearbook and Student Advisory Council at Pikeville.

MAGOFFIN COUNTY

Lindsey Russell

Magoffin County High School

Lindsey Russell was the first-place winner of the Magoffin County Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Russell will perform Desperado by the Eagles in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Russell is a member of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and the Bluegrass and Christian Youth clubs at Magoffin County.

Brooklyn Shepherd

Magoffin County High School

Brooklyn Shepherd was the runner-up in the Magoffin County Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Shepherd will perform Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center.

JOHNSON COUNTY

Caitlin Conley

Paintsville High School

Caitlin Conley was the first-place winner of the Paintsville High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Conley is undecided on the song she will perform in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. A member of the soccer team at Paintsville, Conley is also a part of the PRIDE and Interact clubs.

Kynzie Gray

Paintsville High School

Kynzie Gray was the runner-up in the Paintsville High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Gray is undecided on the song she will perform in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Gray is a member of the swim team, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Interact club and UNITE club at Paintsville.

Delaney Wireman

Johnson Central High School

Delaney Wireman was the first-place winner of the Johnson Central High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A senior, Wireman will perform Chandelier in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Wireman is a member of the Honor Choir and Spirit club at Johnson Central.

Sarah McCoart

Johnson Central High School

Sarah McCoart was runner-up of the Johnson Central High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, McCoart is undecided on the song she will perform in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. McCoart is a member of the Spirit club and Honor Choir at Johnson Central.

MARTIN COUNTY

Hope Lafferty

Sheldon Clark High School

Hope Lafferty was the first-place winner of the Sheldon Clark High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore, Lafferty will perform Where Would You Be in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition of Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Lafferty is a member of the basketball and softball teams at Sheldon Clark and sings in a trio with her father and uncle.

Victoria Stepp

Sheldon Clark High School

Victoria Stepp was runner-up of the Sheldon Clark High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Stepp will perform Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Stepp is a member of the volleyball team, drama club and journalism class at Sheldon Clark.

Shawna Maynard

Sheldon Clark High School

Shawna Maynard was runner-up of the Sheldon Clark High School Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior, Maynard will perform Stay by Rihanna in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Maynard is a member of the drama club at Sheldon Clark and is proud to be a blood donor.

PRIVATE/HOME SCHOOL

Maranda Finney

Wesley Christian School

Maranda Finney was the first-place winner of the private/home-school division of Big Sandy Idol competition. A junior at Wesley Christian School, Finney is undecided on the song she will perform in the finals of the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 14, at the Mountain Arts Center. Finney plays the piano and violin and hopes to find a career where she can use her talents to benefit others.

Ariana Velasquez

Piarist School

Ariana Velasquez was the runner-up of the private/home-school division of Big Sandy Idol competition. A sophomore at the Piarist School, Velasquez will perform Vision of Love by Mariah Carey in the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Friday, March 13, at the Mountain Arts Center. Velasquez enjoys playing the banjo, ballet and acting at the Jenny Wiley Footlights Theatre.