South Towns Got Talent contestants share their stories (with audio)

<a href=””>South Towns Got Talent</a> isn’t just any old talent show. Its contestants come from diverse backgrounds, spanning several generations in age, and their stories are fascinating. There are elementary school students and graduate students, fiddlers and Broadway singers.  Some of them have won many awards and others will compete for the first time. Here are their bios:

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South Towns Got Talent is sponsored by Nibley City and takes place on Saturday, April 22, at Ridgeline High School.  The competition begins at 7 p.m., with 16 acts vying for cash scholarships and prizes. An audience dance-off will also be held, featuring a twist contest whose winner will receive “a night on the town.”

“Nibley’s done a good thing here,” said contestant Dale Major, a resident of Avon and founder of the Cache Valley Cowboy Rendezvous. “I hope this is the first of many. I signed up because I wanted them to know there are people out here who are interested in performing, and I’m one of them.”

Major’s performance will feature a Western swing called “Good Fences.” Major wrote the music and lyrics to the song after an old friend told him that good fences should be “sheep proof, bull strong and horse high.”

“It’s a singalong song,” he said, “with a call for audience responses. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.”

Tia Luther, a senior at Ridgeline High School, will perform Bach’s “Sonata No. 1 – Presto” on the violin. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder as a child, Luther said she doesn’t allow the diagnosis to define and shape her.

“There’s still such a stigma around mental illnesses, and I think that’s just the craziest thing that so many people go through this, and yet no one can really talk about that,” she said. “I’ve just wanted to make it something that I can do to just kind of try to make the world a better place, I guess,  to put my story out there and try and show people that just because someone has a mental illness, it doesn’t mean they can’t  be successful still, and they’re still just a regular person.”

Luther said having bipolar disorder can make it hard for her to keep her focus and maintain the commitment necessary to practice as much as she needs to, but music can also be very therapeutic.  She said playing the violin helps her “stay a healthier and happier person.”

Jessica Bryant, who will sing “Live for You” by Rachel Lampa on Saturday, has likewise turned to music for inspiration and resilience in facing life’s challenges. In 2013, Bryant was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure and has since been on dialysis. Prior to receiving the diagnosis, she had no idea she was so ill.

“I had no symptoms, and I got a nosebleed and ended up in the hospital,” she said. “To make a long story short, I was in there for six days and came out with my life completely changed.”

Originally from Kentucky, Bryant moved to Utah in 2006 to attend college. She returned to Utah a year and a half ago to have a better support system for losing weight for a kidney transplant. She’s currently lost 45 pounds but says she still has a long way to go.

“Being out here, I’m kind of away from a creative outlet,” she said, “and so I was just really looking for opportunities to get out in the community—to sing, just to express my voice through that because I truly believe that the reason God put me on this earth is to be used through him to share his word.”

While she hopes sharing her story will inspire others, Bryant said being part of the South Towns Got Talent Show has personal significance.

“It’s a proof to myself that there’s more beyond my disease,” she said, “that I don’t have to just stop and give up and be like ‘well my life is over,’ because it’s most certainly not.”

Chad Wright, Nibley City’s recreation director, said all of the competition’s contestants have great stories. He hopes the community will “connect with this experience as they journey with the contestants in their pursuit for the top prizes.”

Admission to South Town’s Got Talent is free of charge. The event’s sponsors include Stevens-Henager College, Bridgerland Applied Technology College and Paul Mitchell The School. 

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1 Comment

  • Mattie Christensen March 13, 2019 at 6:44 pm Reply

    Do you have to be twelve?
    Can you be 10 1/2?

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