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Bethany Norris sings her way to winning $1,000 in Search for the Stars final

March 30, 2013|By C.J. LOVELACE | cj.lovelace@herald-mail.com
  • On Saturday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre, Bethany Norris' love for singing scored her a cool $1,000 as the winner of the Search for the Stars final, an event hosted by Herald-Mail Media.
By Raychel Harvey-Jones

Bethany Norris loves to sing.

In fact, she loves it so much that she often sings “from the time she wakes up in the morning to the time she goes to bed,” according to her mother, Julie Norris of Keedysville.

“She started singing, really, when she was 3 in our church choir and had her first solo when she was like 4 or 5,” Julie Norris said of her 11-year-old daughter.

On Saturday afternoon at The Maryland Theatre, Bethany’s love for singing scored her a cool $1,000 as the winner of the Search for the Stars final, an event hosted by Herald-Mail Media.

Bethany said it came as a “huge surprise” when she was announced the winner out of 21 total acts that took the stage before several hundred people at the downtown Hagerstown venue.

“I was pretty nervous when I auditioned, but once I get up there to sing, all my anxieties just go away,” said Bethany, who belted out a beautiful rendition of “Go Light Your World” by Christian singer Kathy Troccoli.

“I actually was not looking to win at all,” she said. “I just wanted everyone to hear God’s word through my song.”

Bethany was chosen by a combination of audience vote and a panel of three judges, including Bobb Robinson, who teaches at Shepherd University and is the opera director at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Marsha Knicely, owner of Sagittarius Salon and Spa in Hagerstown; and Miss Queen State Audreanna Colombo.

With so many great acts to choose from, the vote was close — really close, according to host Raychel Harvey-Jones, news director for HMTV6, who said even some of the executive producers of the event had to weigh in to break the tie.

“We had nobody that wasn’t great. It was so hard,” she said afterward, saying Bethany has the “voice of an angel.”

Receiving notable mentions before the announcement of the winner were singing duo Chastity Gray and Brittany Powers, as well as dancers Pam and Steve Springer.

“Washington County and the Tri-State area has a lot of talent,” Harvey-Jones said. About 75 people tried out for the show back in January and February before the finalists were selected, she said.

Performers of all ages during the two-hour show included singers — from country music to rap — dancers and musicians playing guitars, pianos, upright basses and even the spirited accordion playing of Filip Novakovic.

Jackie McDonnell of Boonsboro came with a group of friends to watch the show. She said she was there to support Pam and Steve Springer.

“They are incredible, and I really liked Filip, too,” McDonnell said. “... It’s been very impressive.”

The complete program will air on HMTV6 in the upcoming weeks, Harvey-Jones said.

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