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W.Va. to represent Md. in country showdown

August 12, 1997

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A West Virginia woman will represent Maryland next month in Hershey, Pa., as she tries to advance to the next stage of the True Value/Jimmy Dean's Country Music Showdown.

Amy Ropp, 21, of Martinsburg, won the local competition on July 17 at Redman's Club in Williamsport. She competed against a dozen other contestants to win the first phase of the contest.

She sang "Valentine" by Martina McBride and "Amazing Grace" in the contest, which was judged on talent, originality, stage presence, vocal or instrumental ability and marketability in country music.

She will be Maryland's lone representative on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m. in Hershey Park Arena where country music singer Brandy Seals will also be performing. She will compete against four Pennsylvania performers.

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The winner of that competition will get $1,000 and go onto the Northeastern Regionals on Oct. 4 at the Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, W.Va. That will be followed by the nationals in early November and a chance at a $50,000 recording contract.

"I've sung all my life in church and school," said Ropp, who works in the Berkeley County Planning Office.

The second runner-up and interview winner at the 1997 Miss Jefferson County Scholarship Pageant, Ropp is scheduled to graduate from Shepherd College next year with bachelor's degrees in nursing and psychology.

Ropp has sung at a number of weddings and events in the area. This Saturday she will be singing at an AIDS benefit auction at the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg.

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