Pahranagat Valley senior Brook Higbee showcased her singing talent at the FFA National Convention in Louisville, KY, Oct. 28-31.
After deciding she wanted to apply for the event?s talent program a few months ago, she sent in an audition video with a five song set list.
?I just decided to do that because there are not very many opportunities for us where we live to strengthen my singing voice and get experience on the stage,? she explained.
Higbee was also surprised at being chosen as one of the 45 entertainers for the event. ?They only chose two from west of the Mississippi,? she said. ?I was astonished when I was notified. I didn?t know I was capable of doing this. I was excited.?
Higbee was accompanied in Louisville by her parents, Brian and Jeanne Higbee. There were audition rounds in the talent portion, she explained. ?I auditioned two songs, one of my choice, and one of the judges?, and I made it through the first round cut to 30 contestants.?
However, she didn?t make it into the third round field of 15. ?There were three rounds altogether to select the three finalists.?
She said that, ?Even though I got cut from the second round, they still had me on a big schedule, and I performed every day, twice a day, doing five songs each time. I was performing songs from both pop and country.?
Higbee said she is not as good at country music as many of the others in the program. ?I tried to pick the more simple country songs, even Elvis Presley a little bit. I?m more of a mellow, love song, ballad kind of singer. But this experience helped me see a different perspective of music. They had me singing at a variety of venues, the main stage, small award banquets and award ceremonies. Most of the time, I was introduced, but one place I had to introduce myself. There was one awards ceremony where I was told I needed to sing seven songs, wow! But I had a 10-song repertoire to select from and sing to prepared music tracks.?
Higbee was impressed by many of the other talent program competitors. ?I saw some others who were very polished and older, because you can compete in the program until you are 21, and this was the fifth year for some of the acts.? She thought some of them could easily compete on The Voice TV program.
Overall, the experience was one she said she enjoyed very much. ?I had a great time putting myself out there, learning more about myself and about music, preparation, stage presence, delivery and connecting with the audience, all about picking somebody out in the audience and telling them a story.?
When she goes off to the college of her choice, Higbee believes she might continue her music with some of the college groups.