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Talent search solidifies Wilson County’s role as music incubator

Staff Reports • Updated May 29, 2016 at 10:00 AM

When 12 finalists were selected during the semifinal round of the Bates Ford Talent Search during WSM Live From The Capitol Theatre on Saturday, the social media community’s responses to the posts from the Wilson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau were overwhelming, with several thousand views and interactions on Facebook, as well as more than a dozen likes and follows on Twitter and Instagram. 

The finalists who will compete June 25 for a chance to open for the Oak Ridge Boys at the Wilson County Fair or Darryl Worley at the Capitol Theatre will be Brittany Jean, Corey Jackson, Lacey Canfield, Chazz Wesley, Jamie Brabham. Ashley Briggs, Brent Monnier, Zoe Nutt, Taria, Sarah Jane Nelson, Carmack and the Melody Dusters and Chris Carpenter.

Views of the video clip Brent Monnier’s version of George Jones’ hit “He Stopped Loving Her Today” have hit more than 2,000 on the Wilson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Facebook page at facebook.com/visitwilsoncounty. Video on the Wilson County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Facebook page of Ashley Briggs’ cover of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s “Fishin’ in the Dark” has surpassed 110 views. 

The Bates Ford Talent Search reinforced Wilson County’s reputation as an incubator for budding talent. 

“This showcase has served to solidify Wilson County’s position as the place to be to hear new artists,” said Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. 

“Bates Ford is proud to support up and coming talent. We feel like this talent search taking place at the Capitol Theatre is a great place to showcase that talent,” said Tony Bates, owner of Bates Ford.

Two grand-prize winners will be selected during the search and will have the opportunity to open for the Oak Ridge Boys on Aug. 23 at the Wilson County Fair or for Darryl Worley on July 9 at the Capitol Theatre. Two other winners will have the opportunity to perform on the Fiddlers Grove Opry Stage during the Wilson County Fair.

During the June 25 finals, the 12 finalists will perform original songs live at the Capitol Theatre. Judges will select grand-prize winners. Other select winners will perform on the Fiddlers Grove Opry stage during the Wilson County Fair. 

Contestants will be judged on appearance, stage presence, vocal ability and audience appeal.

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