Fockler takes first place in First Town Days talent contest

Belle Fockler, 17, took first place in the 14+ category on Sunday afternoon at the Talent Show at the First Town Days Festival. Fockler sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, from the musical Funny Girl. She will be a senior at Dover High School this year

“I just got back from acting camp at Baldwin Wallace,” she explained. “I want to attend Baldwin Wallace and do musical theater after I graduate.”

Second place was Chloe Martin, 19, of Tuscarawas. Martin will be a sophomore at West Virginia University where she is studying the music industry.

“I love what happens behind the scenes and hope to one day produce my own music and that of others.” she says. Martin sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, from “Wizard of Oz”.

Sami Krocker, 20, from Goshen, sang “In My Own Little Corner,” from Cinderella, to take third place.

“I’ve always loved this song and it seems to match my voice,” she said. Krocker will be a senior this year at Malone University where she is studying to become a teacher of integrated social studies and history, grades 7-12. She will also complete her field experience and teaching students in the exempt village schools in Newcomerstown this year.

Lucy Posey took first place in the 13 and under division.

Lucy Posey, 11, from New Philadelphia, took first place in the 13-and-under group with her drum solo on “Heaven Is A Place on Earth,” by Belinda Carlisle. Posey played custom drums given to him by two uncles.

“I’ve had them for three years and signed up for percussion this year,” she explained. Posey comes in sixth for the Quakers. She also enjoys dancing, especially hip hop and jazz.

Second place was Lydia Gustkey, 10, from Dover, who sang “The Star Spangled Banner”, a cappella. The crowd stood as she sang, some with their hands over their hearts. Cheyenne and Betty Millard, 12 and 10 respectively, collaborated on their entertainment. Cheyenne sang “How Far I’ll Go,” by Moana, while Betty performed an interpretive dance.

All finishers received a trophy with first place worth $75, second place $50 and third place $25. The competition in both categories was fierce, much to the delight of the judges who jumped and clapped throughout each performance. Emcee Marc Davis of New Philadelphia kept the show going with praise and encouragement to all the contestants. He also took the time to apologize to the judges.

“I have to apologize to my judges,” Davis said, during a talent break. “I had no idea I was giving them the toughest job in the world.” The audience applauds in agreement.

The judges for the day were Jaime Cole-Mansfield, a professional singer, who now resides in New Philadelphia. She toured for many years as a singer in lounge and dance groups and sang for Ronnie McDowell. She has written and recorded Contemporary Christian Originals and is looking to start a new musical adventure in Tuscarawas County. Lacey Herbert-Stephen is the owner of the Lacey Performing Arts Center, located downtown. She has been teaching all styles of dance for over 15 years. Lacey is also CEO of the Lacey PAC Adaptive Movement Center, a nonprofit after-school facility for adults and children with disabilities. She is married to Joshua Stephen and they have four children; Cheryl Graham was a music teacher for 52 years, 47 of them in New Philadelphia. She is a member of the First Town Days Committee and is in charge of scholarships. She is also a jury member of the Ohio Music Association. Cole-Mansfield entertained the large crowd with the Captain and Tennille’s song “Love Will Keep Us Together”, while sheet music was compiled at the Festival office.

“It was an incredibly talented group,” Davis said after the contest. “I appreciate all of their hard work and dedication to their craft. They were all very well prepared and performed well.”

The talent show was sponsored by Dover Hydraulics.

About Dale Davis

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