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Ashe girl wins big at Singing in the Foothills

Heather Samudio/AMT
Taylon Miller poses for a photo with her awards and guitars in her music room at home.




Originally published: Jun. 27, 2013
Last modified: Jun. 27, 2013

Heather Samudio

Eight-year-old Taylon Hope Miller has been singing with her mom and nanna at church since she was 5 years old — and now she’s earning awards for her performances.

A rising third-grader at Mountain View Elementary School, Miller won first prize in the youth solo division at Singing in the Foothills on Saturday, June 22.

Miller won a $300 cash prize, a plaque and an appearance on the main stage where she performed for a crowd of more than 4,000.

Other winners included John Lewis of Moravian Falls taking the adult solo division and grand prize honors and The Abbotts of Oxford winning the group division.

“Taylon shared the stage with featured gospel artists Taranda Greene, The Whisnants, The Nelons, The Martins, Diplomats and Dailey and Vincent,” Taylon’s mom, Tara, said.

SITF is an annual benefit coordinated by and for the Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home and has been labeled as the largest outdoor southern gospel music event in America by promoters.

“This event is unique in part because it is promoted and orchestrated entirely by Ebenezer Christian Children’s Home,” Bridgett C. Gardiner, coordinator of the gospel talent show for Ebenezer’s, said. “Hundreds of volunteers come together throughout the year to develop, promote and bring this event to life. Our mission is to serve kindness and love to each person that attends Singing in the Foothills.”

Gardiner said the group’s goal is for 100 percent of the ticket sales to go directly to taking care of the kids. Volunteers handle the event and sponsors help make the show happen.

This year’s headline sponsors were Window World and Page Interworks.

The SITF’s talent search and show “is used to promote and encourage individuals and groups that share the good news of Jesus Christ through their music,” Gardiner said.

Taylon, fitting in perfectly in that category, said she has fun singing and “I do it for God.”

When the family returned home from SITF, Miller told her parents, “I wish I could do it again.”

Although this is the biggest award Miller has won so far, it’s not the first.
She placed second at the N.C. State Fair in 2012, winning $100 in the gospel divi sion and won the 2012 Ashe Idol in the elementary school division, taking home a trophy.

Amid these honors, Miller was also voted “Most Beautiful Voice” by her classmates and she said that is her favorite award.

In addition to learning from her mom and nanna, she also took voice lessons with Tonya Halsey.

Miller plays the piano and guitar, but can’t choose a favorite.

“I like them both,” she said. She is currently taking guitar lessons with Steve Lewis.

Her favorite song to sing is Miranda Lambert’s, “The House that Built Me.”

She names Lambert, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban as her favorite singers and said, “I want to be like Taylor Swift.”

Miller practices three or four days per week and dreams of being on American Idol and being a professional singer when she gets older.

If a singing career doesn’t work out, Taylon, who loves social studies, reading and writing, said, “I want to be a vet.”

As for now, she plans to continue focusing on singing, performing and her goal of writing her own songs. She told her parents, Tara and Chris Miller, that she wants to visit Nashville and the family will travel there for vacation this summer.

They plan to visit the famed Ryman, the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Taylon has saved the $400 in prize money she has won and is taking it with her to Nashville.

Her dad told her that some musicians open their guitar case on the street there and play for tips. Taylon said she wants to try that.

“We give God all the credit for her voice,” said Tara.

In accordance with that, Taylon continues to sing at her home church, Midway Baptist, and is also set to sing at Bald Mountain Baptist Church and Helton United Methodist Church on Sunday. She will also be singing at Big Springs Baptist Church’s revival.

She has recorded a few songs and some of her music has been featured on 580 WKSK’s gospel show. In the near future, Taylon plans to record her own CD.

Churches interested in having Taylon sing can contact Chris or Tara at (336) 846-9589.
 
For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.