It’s their time to shine

Jolisa Canty Staff writer

September 21, 2013

LUMBERTON —When it comes to music, Stephen Love is aptly named.

There seem to be few genres of music that the young singer does not admire or perform.

Opera. Check.

Jazz. Check.

Rhythm and blues. Check.

Pop. Check.

Gospel. Check.

The Fairmont native will headline with his wide-ranging style during a show Nov. 9 at Carolina Civic Center. Love was the top contestant in the My Time to Shine Singing Competition. He beat out 12 other contestants.

Love has been involved in music and orchestra since he was a child, but has been performing on a professional level for about 10 years.

“Music is a part of my everyday life, career, and ministry,” said Love, who serves as the band and choir director at Fairmont High School.

At his show, Love will perform a variety of music, ranging from the 1960s tunes to the latest hits in popular music.

“My goal is to reach everyone,” Love said. “Somebody will be able to get something from it. They will definitely get a music appreciation course.”

Love earned a degree in music with a concentration in Voice from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He gives private music lessons in his spare time and has performed at numerous venues.

“It is a gift from God,” Love said. “And this is a way to show my love back to God and the people.”

Advance tickets can be purchased in-person or by telephone with credit card or cash on Mondays through Fridays from 1 to 5 p.m. at the center’s administrative offices on the theater’s second floor, or by calling the center at 910-738-4339. Tickets can also be purchased at the door.

Other acts

The musical showcase will also feature Alexis Raeana Jones, the runner-up from the August competition, as the opening act.

Jones said that her upcoming stint as a the opening act is still a surprise. She was so shocked at the competition that the announcer had to call her name twice.

“I was surprised that I would even place because I was up against so many other artisst with much more experience,” Jones said.

Maybe it was the style of her performance that placed her above her competitors.

“I like to incorporate my Native American culture into my performances,” Jones said.

The 17-year-old Pembroke native uses American Indian dances and a hand drum to represent her culture in her performances. And now — since competing in the My Time to Shine contest — Jones writes her own songs to express her passion for her culture.

“I decided that if I write down what I thought, then my words could inspire other kids,” she said.

Jones is a senior at Purnell Swett High School, where she also the president of the Student Government Association. Performing and singing since she was a child, Jones has danced throughout the country in American Indian powwows. She is the daughter of Richard and Eustacia Jones.

After making it to the third round of Fox’s “X Factor” television competition, Jones is determined that she would like to make a career in the performing arts.

“Singing is my passion, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life,” Jones said.

The third artist to perform at the Showcase in November is Madison Bolin, aka Madi Bee, the People’s Choice winner.

Bolin, a Lumberton native, is a 14-year-old freshman at Lumberton High School. She began singing in church at the age of 6 and by age 9 was singing the national anthem at local functions. Bolin then began to receive invitations to sing at events such as church revivals, weddings, Relay for Life, Rumba on the Lumber. She also started participating in the school talent show in sixth grade.

Kendrix Singletary, the resident artist and production manager at the Carolina Civic Center Historic Theater, said Love and Jones were chosen by a panel of judges who evaluated the artists on talent, originality, creativity, entertainment value, audience appeal, skill level and aesthetic appeal.

“I’m ecstatic about the winners, they are wonderful people, incredibly talented and strong entertainers. Singletary said. “I think they will do really well in the show.”