Loudoun campus student Ashley Williams named grand prize winner
This year’s NOVA Idol winner is Ashley Williams, 20, a second-year student at the Loudoun Campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). She beat out eight other NOVA students to earn the distinction as the college’s top vocalist.
As the grand prize winner, Williams will receive $6,000 and four hours of studio time courtesy of Cue Studio’s Center for Audio Engineering. She will work with a sound engineer to create a demo album.
“I was really shocked. I burst into tears when they called my name,” Williams said. Williams sang “One Night Only” from the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” during Friday’s competition. Williams plans to transfer to Radford University this fall, where she will major in education.
The second place winner was Mary Elizabeth Daly, a dual enrollment student at NOVA and third place went to Laura Manzer, who is studying to become a dental hygienist at the college. Daly and Manzer will receive awards of $1,500 and $500, respectively. Kathryn Dobyns, a sophomore at Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg, Va. won in the competition’s high school division.
In its eleventh year, NOVA Idol continues to be a popular college-wide event with more than 250 students from NOVA’s six campuses making up the competition pool. Every year, the votes of both audiences and judges determine the first, second and third place winners.
Co-hosting this year’s event was repeat host Tony Perkins, co-anchor of the 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. news shows at WTTG-TV, Fox 5 and Araceli “Shelly” Palomino, a communication studies instructor at NOVA. American soul singer and songwriter William Bell also made a repeat guest appearance as a celebrity judge
Other songs performed during the evening included “One Moment in Time,” “The Power of Love,” and “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” As a group, the students sang “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical “Rent.”
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.