It was a really hot day. And I mean REALLY hot. The van thermometer read 140 degrees. I admit, it might have been slightly off...maybe. :) Did I mention that the air conditioner barely works? We were sitting in the stifling van, trying to eat supper without getting our performance clothes messy. Although we do it all the time, it still can be an interesting experience. Anyway, we arrived safe and sound at our destination - a high school 3 hours from us that was hosting one of the preliminary rounds of the Bill Riley Talent Search.
10 Days Earlier...
We have always thought it would be fun to enter one of the bigger talent contests, but never have. When we went to the Iowa State Fair for the very first time ever, we got to see parts of a couple of the contest rounds in the Bill Riley Talent Search. It's a big contest with 4 levels of judging (in the Senior division - 3 levels in the Sprouts) that you have to get through, with the last three rounds taking place at the Iowa State Fair over a period of 10 days. When we got home from the fair, we decided it'd be fun to enter the contest next year. The competition we saw was very stiff, but we knew we could be a Christian influence to the thousands of people there and, of course, it would be a fun opportunity! I was extremely disappointed to learn that once we finally decided to enter, I was too old. I would turn 22 before the contest. Everyone would be able to do it except me. Sad, but God is good, and He knows what is best. After all, He controls all things and this wasn't by accident.
A few days later, Karen just "happened" to find out that there were still 2 qualifying rounds in 2013 which meant I would be able to enter! It was such a gift! We couldn't make the first qualifier, but we could go to the second. We had 10 days to prepare. Silas entered the Sprouts Division and the other five of us played as a group in the Senior division with our Mom as an accompanist. At the competition, Silas was the second performer. There were other Sprouts who sang, acted, or danced. He won first place! He gets to go on to the next round! We were so happy for him. He played amazingly well on his piece - Sarabande by Bach. It has lots of chords and double stops.
We wondered though whether the judges would pick our group now that a string player had already won the sprout division. They only get to send two acts to the state fair- one sprout act and one senior act. In our division there was an opera singer, dancers, tap dancers, regular singers, a yo-yo artist, a baton twirling act, and a good barbershop quartet... The results? With God's help, we won! So, now we are all going to the State Fair next year to compete in the next round. We had ice cream to celebrate on the 3 hour late night trip home.
And they all lived happily ever after.
Silas being announced first place winner in the Sprout division
All of us with Bill Riley