Craig talent participates in Shelor Grand Finale Contest

Craig County High School (CCHS) recently held its annual talent. As always, the top two winners advanced to the Shelor Grand Finale Talent Contest. Thirteen area schools participated for an opportunity to win cash prizes for their schools. Bryson Drake won first place, while Ashlyn Stanley took second at CCHS. Bryce is a freshman and played a piano solo of the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Ashlyn is a junior and performed “Speechless” from the new live-action Aladdin movie. Though neither placed in the top five at the grand finale, both said they enjoyed the competition with the other students.

Pam Dudding
Contributing writer

Music has been a long-standing love for many people and has a way of bringing life, peace and even direction into one’s life.

One study composed by Wake up World found that, “Music, the universal language of mood, emotion and desire, connects with us through a wide variety of neural systems. Researchers have discovered evidence that music stimulates specific regions of the brain responsible for memory, language and motor control. They have located specific areas of mental activity linked to the emotional responses elicited by music. An outstanding discovery recently has shown that children listening to music have increased neural development.”

Craig County High School has been participating in the Shelor Motor Mile “Grow the Future” Talent competition since 2014.

Shelor has been in business for 40 years and co-owner David Hagan said that they have been giving back to the community for many years as well. Their main avenue being to help local schools.

“‘Grow the Future’ is a program that started a few years ago at the beginning of the recession,” Hagan explained. “With all the budget cuts, we felt it was a good way to help all schools, instead of the few that had asked for support.”

Shelor gives many opportunities for schools to raise funds. For example, if they sign up at the beginning of the year, they are given cash in exchange to market Shelor Motor Mile. They are also given raffle tickets to sell for someone to win a new car. One percent of the raffle money goes to the school.

“We also know how hard the teachers and administrators work throughout the year,” Hagin mentioned before adding, “To award their efforts, if they purchase a vehicle from Shelor, $500 goes to the individual and $500 goes to their school.”

Hagan shares that the area and program is important to him because it is where he grew up. “I came from a less fortunate family so I understand the needs for funds,” he said.

He also shared that he feels it is important for Shelor to give back to the youth of these communities because one day they may be customers or even employees.

One avenue is the talent competition. Area schools hold their individual competition, and the top two winners of participate in the Shelor Talent Contest held in Montgomery County.

A talent show is held at CCHS each year for students in all four grade levels. The top two acts then advance to the grand finale in which 13 other area schools compete for a chance to win cash prizes for the students and their schools.

“This year, there were five acts that performed at the CCHS talent show in October. They were Bryce Drake, Ashlyn Stanley, Abby Price, Kat Hedrick and August White,” said Alyssa-Cross Schulka who is the Band and Choir Director of the Craig County Public Schools.

Bryson Drake won first place, and Ashlyn Stanley took second. Drake is a freshman and played a piano solo of the song “Say Something” by A Great Big World. Stanley is a junior and performed “Speechless” from the new live action Aladdin movie.

This was Drake’s first year participating in this event. He said afterward, “I really enjoyed the experience, and the opportunity to perform in front of a large crowd.”

Stanley has participated in the grand finale three times. She stated, “Performing is one of my passions, and I have enjoyed participating in this event for the past several years.”

Even though neither placed in the Shelor Talent Contest, they both created a lasting memory. “There was so much phenomenal talent there. But I really enjoyed it, Stanley said.

Students are encouraged to enter each year. Who knows? Perhaps next year’s winner will hail from Craig County.


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