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Pageant debut set for junior performers

The feedback was heard.

This year the Miss Mississippi Pageant is returning dancers and entertainers to the stage for its production.  

And with the return, a new element has been added — junior performers.

Comprised of 12 children ranging in ages from 10 to 13, these performers will be included in the opening number of the show and the finale, as well as being featured in their own production number, executive producer for the Miss Mississippi Pageant production Jaynie Fedell said.

“We felt like adding young performers would allow them an opportunity to grow in the business of entertainment and also transition from doing the prince and princess program,” Fedell said.

Auditions for young performers were open only to children who previously served as a Magnolia Prince or Princess in the Miss Mississippi Pageant those who were picked had talents that varied from singing to acting to dancing.

“This has been a really great opportunity for me to show people what I can do, and I am really happy to entertain people and I am excited about the show,” 13-year-old Nataleigh Nix said.

Serving as the coordinator of the young performers is Fedell’s daughter.

“I chose Vera Ann because she knows how to sing and dance and act, so she was the perfect choice for the job,” Fedell said.

“Having this job has kind of been like being a camp counselor that has to have multiple talents for everyone to be able to have an understanding of direction since the children’s abilities vary,” Vera Ann Fedell said.

A volunteer with the Miss Mississippi Pageant organization for seven years, Vera Ann Fedell said the children as a whole were pretty well-behaved, and she has enjoyed working with them even though the job has been more demanding than those she held in the past.

“Instead of just running around getting stuff or scrolling a screen, I have had to have a lot of leadership and direction of what is happening in the show because these kids are relying on me,” she said.

Eleven-year-old Lilly Crump said she feels honored to be part of the production.

“It feels like you are the star of the show,” Crump said, adding as a young performer she has the opportunity to be on the stage more often than when she was a Magnolia Princess.

Both young performers admitted they had performance jitters.

“But it’s a good nervous,” Nix said.

The Miss Mississippi Pageant preliminary competitions will resume at 7 p.m. Thursday and continue through Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center. The final round of competition will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday and one candidate will be crowned the winner. For tickets, call 601-638-6746.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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