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High Country’s Got Talent

By Jesse Campbell (

Article Published: Nov. 21, 2013 | Modified: Nov. 21, 2013
High Country’s Got Talent

From left, Cheyenna Jones and Belle Lehmann are helping organize High Country's Got Talent, a fundraiser for Wine to Water.

Photo submitted

While superstar hopefuls across the country fill the audition rooms of “American Idol” this winter, local musicians, dancers and singers will try to prove their chops at the inaugural High Country’s Got Talent show on Dec. 15.

Primary auditions will be held at 11 a.m. on Nov. 23. Auditions are $10 per act, and tickets to the Dec. 15 show are $15.

The contest is open to participants in Avery, Ashe and Watauga counties. Proceeds from the event will benefit nonprofit organization Wine to Water, which works to eradicate unsanitary water conditions in impoverished Third World countries and communities.

To help Wine to Water meet its goals, talent scouts have opened the auditions to all performers.
“We are encouraging all acts to sign up,” said organizer Belle Lehmann, a member of Watauga High School’s Wine to Water chapter.

As such, singers of all genres, including opera, country, pop, oldies and bluegrass, as well as contemporary and traditional dancers, are invited to take center stage.

Comical acts, illusions and other tricks are also expected to wow audiences in the inaugural edition.
Plus, Lehmann said, performers and audiences will also enjoy the satisfaction of helping those in need from across the world.

“Wine to Water volunteers its time and efforts in assisting people and countries that some people here might not give a second thought,” she said. “Today, the founder (Doc Hendley) is headed down to the Philippines to volunteer (his) services to those suffering from the effects of the typhoon.”
Even small contributions have a tremendous impact.

“Every dollar that Wine to Water raises helps to save another life,” Lehmann said. “By having the public support for this organization, not only does Wine to Water have the opportunity to save another person, but awareness of this epidemic is (also) raised.”

Organizers said awareness is also a huge part of that battle.

“Sure, some people do know about the millions of people that die every year because they do not have access to clean water. However, by raising awareness to those who do not realize the size of the issue, formation and aid from other organizations is (made) possible,” Lehmann said.

And High Country’s Got Talent is a start. First-place prize for the show includes a $250 cash award, while second place will walk away with $125. A “Viewer’s Choice Award” will also be presented.
But they’ll need to get there first. Auditions take place at the Watauga High School Auditorium. To register, visit

For more information, call (828) 504-2332 or email (

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