The 7th Hanover Idols Competition was held at the Hanover Arts & Activities Center on Sunday. The auditorium was packed with friends, families, supporters, and music lovers who enjoyed an amazing afternoon and night of impressive singers from all over Hanover County.
James Lynn returned as Master of Ceremonies for both shows. In his distinctive voice, Lynn announced to an excited audience, “The 2018 Hanover Junior Idol is Madison Cox. The Runner-Up is Nicholas Bannon.”
At the Hanover Idols Competition, Lynn announced, “The 2018 Hanover Idol is Jason Call. The Runner Up is Alena Hicks.”
The winners of the Hanover Idols’ competition were crowned by the 2016 winners—RaeLyn McMillion and Anisah Abdullah, 2016 Hanover Idol and Junior Idol, who entertained the audiences during the judges’ deliberations.
The 23 finalists who sang on Sunday were selected by audition judges on January 20 from a talented group of over 45 singers. Eleven younger finalists (between 10-15 years old) competed in the Hanover Junior Idol Competition. The audience heard a variety of song selections from “Colors of the Wind” to “Eye of the Tiger.”
Twelve finalists (16 years old and older) competed in the Hanover Idol Competition. The audience members were treated to songs such as “Sound of Silence” and “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”
Everyone who heard the finalists on Sunday realized the difficult decisions that the Celebrity Judges had to make to choose the winners. Throughout the day people back stage said, “I am glad I am not a judge. I could not choose just one winner.”
The newly crowned Hanover Junior Idol, Madison Cox is a 9th grader at Hanover High School, who performs with various theatre companies around the area. Madison was recently cast as “Mary Poppins” in the Center Players production of Mary Poppins, which will be produced this summer at the Hanover Tavern. She sings with SPARC’s Spotlight Ensemble at various nursing homes, homeless shelters and veterans hospitals. She regularly performs the “National Anthem” at sporting events around the state. Madison’s version of “Someone Like You,” from Jekyll and Hyde convinced the impressed audience that Madison will someday fulfill her dream of singing on Broadway.
Nicholas Bannon, the Junior Idol Runner Up, is a sophomore at Atlee High School where he sings in Illusion, the school’s show choir. Nicholas also performs with the Center Players, and will be featured in Mary Poppins at the Hanover Tavern. The first singer on Sunday afternoon’s program, Nicholas Bannon wowed the audience with “From Now On” from The Greatest Showman. Nicholas graciously wrote in his information sheet, “I would like to thank the Hanover Arts and Activities Center for this opportunity.”
Jason E. Call, the newly crowned Hanover Idol, age 34, has lived all over Hanover County. A certified hand and occupational therapist at Richmond Veterans’ Hospital, Jason sings in his own band, named for him. Jason sang, “Missing You” by John Waite and played guitar for his accompaniment. In an interview after the crowning, Jason Call graciously said, “I just feel over the moon–I am so excited. I am grateful to have been with all of these wonderful contestants. There is such good talent here, and I look forward to entertaining everybody in Hanover County for the next two years.” Hanover County will indeed enjoy hearing Jason Call’s entertaining music in his role as the 2018 Hanover Idol.
Alena Hicks, the Runner Up for Hanover Idol, created an amazing 5 minutes of song and theatre with her Nina Simone version of “I Put a Spell on You.” Alena is a sophomore at Patrick Henry High School where she sings in two choirs—Sounds and Essence. Alena regularly performs in the Ashland Musical Variety Show, and she is excited to be cast as the Wardrobe in Beauty and the Beast, which will be produced this spring at Patrick Henry. She said, “After seeing The Lion King on Broadway, I really want to be Rafiki on Broadway!” After seeing Alena sing in Hanover Idols, the audience believes that she will surely fulfill her dreams one day.
Since 2007, 2008 and every even year since, the Hanover Arts & Activities Center has sponsored the Hanover Idols’ competition, produced by Lorie Foley and Sue Watson, with Fred Horn as Music Director. The goal of the competition is to showcase the talented singers in Hanover County and to inspire the finalists with affirmative and supportive coaching. This year, the 23 finalists worked closely with excellent coaches including Fred Horn, Sean Kennedy, Sarah Hopkins, Kaitlyn Tate, Ammie Mines-Derricott, Jamie Flanagan, and Kellie Watson.
The Hanover Junior Idol Finalists included Nicholas Bannon, Lauren Moncure, Samantha Slopey, Autumn Just, Sophie Lynn, Iris Leffler, Savannah Whitley, Madison Cox, Layla Morris, Ben Overby and Molly Strange-Boston.
Finalists for the Hanover Idol included Meredith Elliott, Annie Duncan, Jason Call, Lisa Williams, Roger Reynolds, Faith Gitchell, Karis Adam, Sydney Johnson, James Watson, Julia Kinder, Alena Hicks and Kennedy O-Hanley.
Thanks to the many people who volunteered their expertise and time with sound, lights, tickets, photography, flowers, and gift donations.
A special thanks to the “Broken Glass Angels” who helped clean up and repair one of the Center’s large window sashes which imploded during Friday’s wind storm.
WulfTeam Productions is producing DVD’s of both shows which will be available in a 2-disc set for the low price of $20.00.
Proceeds from the Hanover Idol Competition go to the Hanover Arts & Activities Center, a non-profit organization. For more information, please visit www.hanoverarts.org or call 804 798 2728.