Division winners to compete in talent competition finals

Published 8:57 am Monday, February 22, 2016

Seven people from four talent divisions will compete for a $1,000 grand prize when the finals of the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation’s “Raise the Roof” talent search and competition get under way Feb. 27 at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center Auditorium on Crawford Street.

The competition starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for youth, ages 6-18. Children under 5 are admitted free.

About 170 people attended the preliminaries Saturday, SCHC executive director Stacey Massey said, adding the talent competition is a fundraiser to raise funds to replace the roofs on the convent and gymnasium and repair the roof on the academy building at the SCHC campus.

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“The cost of the project is $181,000,” she said. We have a grant from the Mississippi Department Archives and History for $145,200, and we have to $36,300.”

She said a revenue amount from the preliminaries was not available. “We’re still counting,” she said.

The finalists were selected Saturday from the performances of 22 individuals and groups. Making the cut were 11-year-old Marcus Randle, who preformed his rendition of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror;” comedian Ryen McCallum; pianist Victoria Gong, who performed a selection by Mozart; and the Propulsion Dance Co. team of Amelia Brame, Livia Myers, Kimberly Thomas, Andrea Tower and Abigail Walters, which danced to a selection called “Codename Vivaldi.”

The audience was entertained by a variety of artists ranging in age and talent. The oldest was 85-year-old Sara Grant Nelson, who performed “Shall We Gather at the River” and “Red River Valley” on the harmonica.

Nelson picked up the harmonica to improve her breathing after recovering from an illness.

Other musical selections performed either by song or instrument included rock, rhythm and blues, country, gospel and contemporary Christian.

Besides the voice and instrumental performances, four dance teams performed on the stage of the building where the campaign rally from the movie “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” was filmed.

Massey said some of the performers will make an encore appearance at the finals.

“We will have entertainment segments during the program Saturday,” she said. “We had some performers already lined up, and we were able to get some of the performers from last Saturday to come back.”


About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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