3 singing sensations

Posted on 14 Sep 2006 at 5:12pm

Meet the 2006 Voice of Pride winners

The annual Voice of Pride singing competition just keeps growing and growing. This year, 110 singers competed at 15 preliminary nights held at various Dallas Tavern Guild member nightclubs. And by the Aug. 6 finals night, five lucky winners were chosen, and they divvied up $5,000 in cash.

On Sunday, the top three Jason Huff, Matt Brewer and Ashley Henry will ride in the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade and perform at the rally in Robert E. Lee Park.

Who are they? What musical experience do they have? And what’s their inner-drag-persona like?

Huff, Brewer and Henry come in loud and queer.



JASON HUFF

Occupations:

Project coordinator, singer and karaoke host at The Round-Up Saloon.

Hometown:

Terrell, Texas. Been in and around Dallas my whole life.

Placement in VOP 2006:

Winner.

How much money did you win?

$3,000.

Spent it on:

Uncle Sam. I hate the IRS.

Songs sang in VOP competition:

“This Is The Night,” Clay Aiken and “I’m Free,” Jon Secada.

Cellphone ringtone:

I have many: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Anastacia, Kenny Chesney. They’re assigned to different people, that way I can tell who’s calling by their ringtone.

Do you illegally download music?

No.

Best live concert this year:

Kenny Chesney, Pat Green and Carrie Underwood at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco. Kenny and Pat know how to entertain. A friend got us tickets at the very front of the stage. I could literally reach out my hand and touch Kenny except I couldn’t get through all those crazy, screaming women.

Favorite music video:

“That’s the Way It Is,” Celine Dion.

Favorite gay musician:

Dian Pierce, a local pianist. I love her music so beautiful and relaxing. I first heard her as a guest performer at Cathedral of Hope. Been hooked ever since.

If you were a lip-synching drag queen, what type of drag queen would you be?

I do drag at least once a year on Mother’s Day for the Round-Up’s Turn-About Show where I do all types of drag. I have lip-synched many different songs. Sometimes I even sing live.

Ever auditioned for a reality show?

“Nashville Star”.

Any professional voice training?

Not really. I starting singing in the church, and we always had “choir clinics” and different things where we were given vocal training. Never had a vocal coach.

One song you hope you’ll never have to sing?

Anything by Toby Keith.

BIG-D Music Sophie’s Choice: Team Jessica or Ashlee:

Don’t care much for either. But I’ll go with Jessica.

Polyphonic Spree or Rhett Miller:

What? Who?

George Michael or Erykah Badu:

Can’t decide between those two.



MATT BREWER

Occupations:

Full-time student at Texas Wesleyan University and part-time karaoke host at The Round-Up Saloon.

Hometown:

Copperas Cove, Texas.

Placement in VOP 2006:

First runner-up.

How much did you win?

$1,000.

Spent it on:

Mostly bills. And some Jack Daniels and Miller Lite.

Songs you sang in VOP competition:

“I’ll Be” and “Son of Preacher Man.”

Describe your performance style:

Energetic, passionate and flirty.

Cellphone ringtone:

“Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol.

Do you illegally download music?

Hmmm I plead the Fifth.

Two recent iPod additions:

“Anthem” from the musical “Chess” and “Some People” by Leann Rimes.

Best live concert you attended in 2006:

Kelly Clarkson at Nokia.

Favorite music video:

Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.”

Does the way a person sings reveal much about their personality?

Ummm if they suck and don’t know it.

Were you born a naturally good singer or did you work at it.

I think it’s pretty natural. But I’ve worked hard on singing my whole life: How’s that for being on the fence?

If you were a lip-synching drag queen, what type of drag queen would you be?

Bette Midler

Ever auditioned for a reality show?

Yes, “American Idol.” Made it to the third round in Austin last year, and Nigel Lithgoe cut me because he said my life was boring. They weren’t looking for the best singer in America, they were looking for people who make good television. They told us that flat out. I guess I should have told them that I was a raging homosexual. Anyway, it was the last year I was eligible to audition.

Had any professional singing gigs?

I’ve worked at theme parks, cruise ships, some regional theater and a tour of a little gay show called “Cats.”

BIG-D Music Sophie’s Choice: Team Jessica or Team Ashlee:

Nick Lache.

Polyphonic Spree or Rhett Miller:

Did you mean Bette Midler? Not sure who they are.

George Michael or Erykah Badu:

That’s a tough one. I guess George Michael, but only because he gives good head.



ASHLEY HENRY

Occupation:

High school algebra teacher.

Hometown:

New Boston, Texas.

What brought you to Dallas?

All the steers and queers. Or the queer steers. Not sure which.

Placement in VOP 2006: Second runner-up.

How much did you win?

$500.

Spend it on:

A plane ticket to come back from a wedding that’s in Colorado in order to perform at the rally in Robert E. Lee Park on Sunday. Easy come, easy go.

Songs you sang in VOP competition:

“If You Ever Have Forever In Mind,” Vince Gill and “Ain’t Goin’ Down,” Garth Brooks.
Cellphone ringtone: I’m not that fancy.

Do you illegally download music?

No never.

Recent iPod additions:

I’m still not that fancy.

Best live concert I saw this year:

Madonna. She rocked Madison Square Garden, baby. Let’s all hope we can move like that when we’re her age.

Favorite music video:

Does “A Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place” qualify?

Best karaoke number:

I get a lot of requests for “Neon Moon” by Brooks & Dunn

Does the way a person sings reveal much about their personality?

Yeah, how a person uses his or her eyes as they perform reveals how passionate they are about life.

Were you born a naturally good singer or did you work at it?

I have improved in recent years. But I’ve always had a knack for it. I actually have a degree in instrumental music, but singing is my passion.

If you were a lip-synching drag queen, what type of queen would you be?

A soul sister like Patti La Belle.

Ever auditioned for a reality show?

No, but I’ll be auditioning for “Nashville Star” coming up in October at Billy Bob’s in Forth Worth.

Any professional singing gigs?

Not sure if singing at Johnnie High’s Arlington Country Music Revue is professional, but it’s the closest I’ve come.

One song you hope you’ll never have to sing?

The duet “Cruisin’.”

BIG-D Music Sophie’s Choice: Team Jessica or Ashlee:

No namesakes here. Sorry, Ashlee.

Polyphonic Spree or Rhett Miller:

Ummm Who are they?

George Michael or Erykah Badu:

George Michael, sans the 57-year-old truck driver.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, September 15, 2006.

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