Local singer follows dream in Limelight contest

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, April 12, 2012

Jessica Gibbons is following her dream – her passion to be exact.

“Music is my passion, my life,” said Gibbons, a senior at Charles Henderson High School. “I’ve been singing since I was four years old. I love to sing and my parents love to hear me sing. It’s what I do.”

Being on stage is a comfortable place for Gibbons to be. So, when she had the opportunity to audition for Limelight, which is Troy University’s vocal competition similar to the television series “American Idol,” she didn’t hesitate.

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The 2012 competition is being held at three locations, The Studio in Troy, Foley High School in Mobile and the Jazz Festival at Tallassee.

The first round of the Limelight competition was held Tuesday night in Troy with Tyler Braden of Pike Road named the winner.

“It was so exciting,” Gibbons said. “We had hoped to sell 80 tickets and we sold 75. Everybody seemed to really enjoy it. Their reaction was huge. I don’t think that they were expecting the show we put on. At the end of each song, the applause was overwhelming. It was like the audience absolutely loved what you did. It was the greatest feeling in the world.”

Gibbons said she enjoyed the competition and is looking forward to competing in Mobile tonight and Tallassee on Saturday.

“There are six of us in the finale of the Limelight competition and it’s exciting for me to be among them,” she said. “I enjoy singing and competing.”

Although Gibbons plays guitar, she is using backtrack for the competition.

“I’m very comfortable with that,” she said. “My dad is a DJ and I’ve been doing karaoke for a long time. I sing Indie Rock. That’s soft acoustic rock. It’s the kind of music that I like to listen to and sing.”

Gibbons said that competition brings out the best in her and she is looking forward to being her best this weekend.

“It will be fun and a great experience,” she said.

Randall Crews, Limelight associate marketing director, said that a winner is chosen at each location.

“The winner is chosen by a panel of judges and by audience reaction,” he said. It’s possible to have three different winners or the same winner three times. After the third competition on Saturday, the points will be totaled and an overall winner chosen.”

Crews said the six finalists are all winners and very talented young people.

The student run record label Ilium Records hosts a concert each year to bring the same opportunity to Troy, Crews said. “It’s the search for Troy’s Next Musical Sensation.”