Singers vie for spot in Faith Idol finals

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 1, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
FAITH — Twelve young people took the stage Thursday at the Faith Fourth of July celebration to get a little closer to a dream.
The competitors in the “junior” division of Faith Idol, the annual singing competition, come from all over Rowan County and a wide range of backgrounds.
Some sing in their school’s chorus. Others sing at church.
All of them were there to prove they have what it takes to be in the finals on Independence Day.
“That’s going to be our future,” said James Alexander, one of the organizers of the competition, as the young singers lined up.
James, wife Sylvia, daughter Pam Alexander and Randall Barger head up the event, now in its seventh year.
Barger is the event’s emcee. The Alexanders wait to the side, helping make sure things run smoothly.
Out front, a separate panel of judges makes notes on each contestant.
They chose three finalists from among the juniors, ages 13 to 18.
Natalie Santa Lucia, Kayla McLendon and Thomas Phillips will go on to compete in Monday’s finals.
Four finalists from the 12-and-under group and three from the 19-and-older group will also compete.
What does it take to compete in Faith Idol?
Macey Trexler, of Rockwell, has been competing for years.
“I won when I was 11,” she said.
Now, at 13, she came back to try again.
Just like she did two years ago, Trexler sang a song by Martina McBride, “Concrete Angel.”
“It shows your range a lot,” she said.
Trexler said she wasn’t nervous.
“It’s fun to get up in front of people and do this,” she said.
Up on stage, Trexler took the mic and sang with confidence.
Unfortunately, she said, she wasn’t perfect.
“I lost some of the words,” she said.
Still, Trexler had a smile on her face, as did the others who competed.
Many knew one another as students at Erwin Middle or East Rowan High.
Unlike what you might see on reality TV, these competitors are friendly.
Some hugged, some talked and all clapped after each performance.
Most of Thursday’s contestants performed country songs, with some Christian music and pop.
Steffi Sides, 16, took on a challenging number, “Rolling in the Deep” by soul singer Adele.
“I was a little nervous, but I knew that I knew the song,” Sides said.
When asked how she felt about her performance, “I don’t know,” she said. “Maybe a seven or eight out of 10?”
The organizers don’t coach or help the singers prepare.
Pam Alexander said the singers are responsible for providing a CD with the music they’ll sing to.
It’s a forgiving crowd.
When Corbin Elliott took the stage, but started coughing in the midst of Train’s “Drops of Jupiter,” they cheered him on anyway.
Elliott took it in stride. He’s been in the chorus at Erwin Middle and said he’ll be in the chorus as a freshman at East this fall.
He said he’s used to an audience when he plays sports.
“It’s different on stage,” he said.
Modest as they might be, their voices carried and drew applause and cheers from the audience.
That is what James Alexander said is the best part of the show.
“They get up there and sing their hearts out,” he said.
“Whether it’s good or bad, I think they should be recognized.”
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.