For Payton Trout, the fourth time was a charm.
Trout, a 17-year-old Belfry High School senior, brought home the coveted title of Big Sandy Idol at the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition on Saturday, March 11 in the Willard and Lucy Kinzer Theater at the Mountain Arts Center.
“It’s just amazing,” said Trout. “I want to think my friends, family and the Pond Creek Nation… they always come out in force.”
Trout, participating in his fourth straight Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition, had won crowd favorite, second runner-up and first runner-up in past competitions.
When his name was called out as the winner, it hit home. The culmination of four years of hard work had finally paid off.
“I was shocked,” he admitted. “There were so many great vocalist in this competition.”
Trout brought spectators to their feet with a amazing rendition of the Aerosmith hit “Dream On.” With his win, he earned a scholarship to Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), a spot with the elite Big Sandy Singers and Band, a full album recording at the MAC and a cash prize.
“This is what I wanted, because I plan to attend Big Sandy,” said Trout. “I hope to get my associate degree and transfer to a four-year school to study music theory and performing arts.”
Twenty-eight students representing high schools from across Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties competed on March 10-11 at the MAC. On Friday, March 10, runners-up from each school participated and one performer (Jondra Gibson of Shelby Valley High School) earned a wild card spot to perform on Saturday, March 11 in the final round of Big Sandy Idol.
Gibson finished as second runner-up and performed “Rise Up” by Andra Day. Katie Ratliff from East Ridge High School was first runner-up. She performed “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith.
Isabella Jacobs, of Prestonsburg High School, was the essay contest winner, and Jada Fields, of Sheldon Clark High School, was the social media winner.
The Big Sandy Singers and Band and the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition, which is presented by Gearheart Communications and BSCTC, have awarded more than $500,000 in scholarships since its inception.
Clayton Case, director of fine arts at BSCTC and executive director of the MAC, said an event of this magnitude would not be possible without the support of their sponsors.
“I want to thank Gearheart Communications and the Gearheart family for their long-standing support of our college and this program,” said Case. “We could not do any of this without them.”
Case also expressed his gratitude to Food City of Prestonsburg for sponsoring the hospitality room; Dr. Lee Boyd Pediatric Dentistry for sponsoring the Big Sandy Band; and Unique Boutique for providing services to the Big Sandy Singers and Band.
“It takes so much to put an event on of this caliber,” he said. “I want to thank the MAC employees and college volunteers for their work in assisting us before, during and after the show.”
The Big Sandy Singers and Band performed both nights, and the Big Sandy Band accompanied each contestant at the regional competition.
“That speaks volumes about the talent we have at the college,” he said.
Case also wanted to thank Chesi Spriggs, the assistant director of fine arts at BSCTC, for her “tireless dedication of running the Big Sandy Idol program throughout the school year at all of the high schools.”
For more information on the Big Sandy Idol Regional Competition or the Big Sandy Singers and Band, contact Case at (606) 889-9125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.