History of Hanover Idols
Hanover Idols competition began in 2007 and has been produced ever since by Lorie Foley and Sue Watson. John Gordon, then a member of the Hanover Board of Supervisors, suggested that Hanover should have such a competition because of our impressive local talent. Candidates must live in Hanover County. The first competition was in 2007 and the two winners were Emma Redd and Patrick Warren. Emma is now pursuing a career in music in Nashville. Patrick continues to share his impressive talents in his church, the Ashland Musical Variety Show, children’s musical theatre productions and theater camp. He also is coaching this year’s finalists.
In 2008, the age groups were divided into Junior Idols (age l0-16) and Hanover Idols (l6 and older). The winners in 2008 were Kellie West (now Watson) and Hanover Junior Idol, Ryan Gary. Kellie and Ryan were excellent winners and they expanded the way the Hanover Idols performed throughout the community—singing solos and duets –at the Strawberry Faire, Ashland Street Parties, the Fourth of July Parade, in the Ashland Holiday Parade, numerous civic group meetings, and at the Ashland Musical Variety Show. These traditions have continued for future Idols.
Deciding to have the Hanover Idols shows during even years, not Ashland Musical Variety show years, the next show in 2010 produced two more outstanding winners. Playing his guitar and singing a Jason Mraz song, Abram Dean Lunsford won for Junior Hanover Idol in 2010. Abram was then accepted into a program in Texas for talented performers to receive more training as they become professional performers. He signed a publishing deal with Warner Chappell and continues to perform and record with many local and national musicians. Ammie Mines-Derricott won the 2010 Hanover Idols designation by wowing the judges with her strong and inspiring voice. A chef at the Iron Horse Restaurant and the chief bakery chef at Randolph-Macon College, Ammie continues to sing in her church and throughout the Ashland/Hanover community.
At the 2014 Hanover Idols Competition on March 2, Lindsey Coggins (Hanover Idol 2012) and Faith Gitchell (Junior Idol 2012) will perform during the judges’ deliberations. Now a music student at Virginia Tech, Lindsey impressed audiences in her many performances especially during her solo in the 2013 Ashland Musical Variety Show with her rendition of “These Boots were Made for Walking.” Faith Gitchell mastered the challenging role of singing Michael Jackson’s “I Want you Back,” also in the Ashland show. The new winners will be following two excellent singers who have willingly shared their considerable talents throughout the area.
2014 Hanover Idols Competition
The Finalists for the 2014 Hanover Idols’ Competition will perform on Sunday, March 2 at 3:30pm & 7:00pm at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center at 500 South Center Street. All profits will benefit the Center. Six friendly judges faced difficult choices from 45 candidates who auditioned to be a part of the Finals. The variety of music was impressive–from rap, to religious, to pop, to Broadway, to country, to original compositions.
The Junior Hanover Idols’ Finalists are as follows: Kennedy O’Hanley, Emma Potts, Audrey Kate Taylor, Alexis Tillman, Kendall Wilkinson, Jean Woodrum, Caroline Heaton, Sarah Saponara, Dana Kelleen Slayton, Madeline Stanley, Brooke Walker, and Molly Strange-Boston. They will perform at 3:30pm on March 2 at the Center.
The Hanover Idols’ Finalists are as follows: David Callahan, Carrie Cauthorne, Sarah Hopkins, Max Cook, Sara Newcomb, Kaitlyn Tate, Joseph Sandler, Julie Ross, Lisa Williams, Garrett Reese, Chance Johns, and Melissa Hoban. These Finalists will perform at 7:00pm on March 2 at the Center.
Tickets for each performance are a $7.00 donation. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Center at 500 South Center Street. Call 798-2728. Tickets will also be available at the door. Space is limited, so please come early—30 minutes before the shows.
In addition to receiving applause, opportunities, and prizes, the winners will perform in the next Ashland Musical Variety Show, which will be held on March l9, 20, 21, 2015 at Randolph-Macon College.