When Maranda Finney heard her name announced as the winner of the Big Sandy Idol Regional
Competition presented by Gearheart Communications and Big Sandy Community and Technical
College, it took a second to sink in.
Finney, 16, a junior at Wesley Christian School, performed Hurt by Christina Aguilera
flawlessly in front a sold out crowd at the Mountain Arts Center to capture the coveted
title of Big Sandy Idol.
So many great performers took the stage and nailed it, said Finney, who also takes
three classes at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. It was an honor to compete
with so many outstanding performers.
More than 30 participants performed during the two-night event. Ally Davis, a sophomore
at Prestonsburg High School, was first runner-up and performed A Mans World by James
Brown. Lauren Dotson was second runner-up. The junior from Phelps High School performed
Something in the Water by Carrie Underwood.
Finney earned a full-paid scholarship to BSCTC, a cash prize, a full album recording
and a spot on the Big Sandy Singers and Band. Caitlin Conley, of Paintsville High
School, also earned a spot on the Big Sandy Singers and Band and was awarded the Senior
Award. She performed I Wonder by Kelly Pickler.
The song I performed was special to me, and it was easy to pour my heart and soul
into it, said Conley.
Payton Trout, a sophomore at Belfry High School, won the crowd favorite award during
the final round. He performed A Change is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. Roger Hall, a senior
at Betsy Layne High School, won the crowd favorite award on Friday. He performed House
of the Rising Sun by the Animals.
Alex Meade, a junior at Betsy Layne High School, won the essay contest.
Clayton Case, director of Fine Arts at BSCTC, said this years Big Sandy Idol Regional
Competition highlighted the very best our region has to offer.
All of our performers did an outstanding job, he said. These young men and women gave
the people of Eastern Kentucky a glimpse of the tremendous talent walking the halls
of our local high schools.
Haley Sullivan, a first-year member of the Big Sandy Singers and Band who was recently
selected to the prestigious music program at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.,
and Clarke Sexton, a senior at Johnson Central High School and 2014 Big Sandy Idol
Regional Competition winner, performed Poison and Wine by the Civil Wars. Sullivan
and Sexton also debuted their full album at the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition.
This years competition also featured performances by the Big Sandy Singers and Band.
Each contestant performed with a live band as the Big Sandy Singers and Band performed
with Fridays school runner-up winners, and the house band of the Mountain Arts Center
performed with contestants on Saturday.
Olivia Davis, of Pikeville High School, advanced to Saturdays final round after performing
Gravity by Sara Bareilles. Laken Compton, of Betsy Layne High School, won the first-ever
Appalachian Wireless Wildcard and advanced to Saturdays final round. The contest was
generated by text messaging voting on Appalachian Wireless phones.
So many people work for months putting this event together, said Case. I want to thank
our Fine Arts department and the staff and management of the Mountain Arts Center.
They always go above and beyond to make this a unique experience for our participants.
This would not be possible without the generosity of our corporate sponsor Gearheart
Communications and other partners such as Appalachian Wireless and Double Kwik.
For more information on the Big Sandy Singers and Band, contact Case at (606) 886-7388
or email email@example.com