- Lenoir County Public Schools
South Lenoir vocalist Avery Harper returns to national stage
Avery Harper’s debut on the national stage last year was a learning experience. This week, in her second appearance in the talent competition at the National FFA Convention, she plans to put those lessons into practice.
“I was really nervous when I got there. In my first round, when I sang, I closed my eyes. I didn’t look at anybody,” the South Lenoir High School senior said in recalling 2018. “I got into a zone and kept to myself. That’s something I’ve been working on that will help me this year. I’ve tried to improve on that.”
Avery left Deep Run on Monday with her parents for Indianapolis, Ind., with a better sense of what the week of competition looks like and with the confidence that comes with turning the unknown into the familiar.
She qualified for the competition again this year by submitting a video of herself singing. Of the 100 or so videos submitted, FFA talent judges picked 40. Avery and the 39 others compete in the first round Tuesday and learn Wednesday if they are among the 15 chosen for the second round. The top three performers compete in the third and final round.
“We are very excited for Avery and her opportunity to represent Lenoir County Public Schools and South Lenoir High School,” Joseph Noble, FFA advisor at South Lenoir, said.
Avery plans to open the competition with the Fleetwood Mac song “Landslide,” but she’s bringing a repertoire of about 10 songs that she can perform for judges or for other FFA members at informal shows.
“We go out through the city and sing as entertainment for the week for FFA members to see us,” the 17-year-old said.
She expects to enjoy her return to Indianapolis and being a part of the FFA’s 92nd national convention, which ends Saturday. After all, despite the nerves, she had fun last year. “It was wonderful,” she said. “I enjoyed it. All I saw was blue jackets the whole week in Indianapolis. They flooded the city.”
Avery, an FFA member since entering high school, joins the state champion meats evaluation and technology team from North Lenoir High School in carrying the LCPS banner into national competition. FFA members on the North Lenoir team are Kerri-Lynn Deaver, Griselda Perez Cortez, Lisette Vasquez-Sanjuan and Kimberly Vazquez Marin.