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Fayetteville, Pa. woman is a semifinalist in Avon Voices Singing Talent Search

August 12, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Jessica Owens, 26, of Fayetteville, Pa., is a semifinalist in the Avon Voices Singing Talent Search.
By Roxann Miller

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. — Jessica Owens of Fayetteville, Pa., outsang more than 6,000 people in the Avon Voices Singing Talent Search to earn one of the top spots in the global competition.

The 26-year-old has moved past the competition in rounds one and two to become one of 16 semifinalists in her division who are ultimately vying for a recording contract with a major label.

She is competing for online votes at www.avonvoices.com through Aug. 26 to become a finalist in her division, which is for the general public. The other division is for Avon representatives.

Finalists, determined by public voting and professional Avon Voices judges, are to be announced Sept. 8.

In the finals, there will be 10 people competing — eight in the general division and two in the Avon representative division.

One winner will be announced Nov. 1 in each division.

Owens has a degree in music from Ithaca College in New York, and teaches dance and drama to lower-income girls. She also teaches viola and piano students privately at her home.

She loves music, but said she never dreamed that she'd have a chance at a professional music career.

"I always enjoyed singing but never really thought about making it a career, per se," Owens said. This is a dream of a lifetime."

Even if she doesn't win, Owens said the journey has been wonderful.

"I've gained a confidence in myself that I didn't know I had before — that I never even considered before and that has been a great discovery," she said.

Friend and Avon representative Chris Sheely of Mechanicsburg, Pa., thinks Jessica has what it takes to walk away from the competition a winner.

"I'm not surprised that she's done this well," Sheely said. "She is very talented, but she is also a beautiful, young woman who could represent Avon better than anyone I know."

Sheely said organizers of the competition are looking for the "total package," and Owens has all the makings of a star.

"Avon is very concerned about the image, and she just fits the image. She is beautiful inside and outside," Sheely said.

Sheely said Owens is one of three contenders from the United States. The other 13 are from countries around the world.

"Even in the semifinals, she's in an elite group of people. I see no reason why she won't go to the finals," Sheely said.

Kara Ocker, 17, of Waynesboro, Pa., has been placing online votes for Owens since she found out about the competition.

Kara has been taking viola lessons from Owens for about three years.

"If she wins, I can tell people, 'That's my teacher!' That will be pretty amazing," Kara said. "I think she can go on to the next round and do well. She is an amazing singer."

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