Rachel Hesse’s got talent " do you?
Vail, CO, Colorado
Rachel Hesse, a 16-year-old girl from Edwards, sings until she’s hoarse. She sings in the car, at her home, in her school’s chorus, on Plum TV, on Good Morning Vail and soon on Berry Creek Middle School’s stage for the preliminary competition for the “Eagle County’s Got Talent” Competition.
That’s right, there is a competition dedicated to finding the cream of the crop in the valley, and showcasing their talent. Not only is the competition a chance to perform ala newtowrk TV’s hit show “America’s Got Talent,” but its for a good cause. Proceeds go to Brightstart for Eagle County Kids ” a Health and Human Services program. Brightstart for Eagle County Kids provides medical and dental care for kids 9 and younger, prenatal care, before-and-after school care, funds a parent resource library and helps teachers get educational grants.
“It’s such a great opportunity for the kids to show off their talent and raise money for a good cause,” said Kathy Dunn Lewis, who is the manager of business development at the Vail Valley Medical Center and heading up the event.
Before you hit the stage, however, you’re going to need to practice if you’re planning on going up against Rachel. Don’t lose your voice, or dance until you’ve got blisters, but the competition should be pretty steep. After all, there is $800 in prize money, an opportunity to perform on Channel 8’s “Good Morning Vail” and Channel 18, plus, the chance to strut your stuff on the Vilar’s stage during the final competition, slated for Sept. 28. Each act should last no more then three minutes.
Rachel is quick to note just how much an $800 prize purse could buy.
“That’s a lot of shoes!” she said. “I’d buy shoes, horse stuff, gas and maybe some clothes.”
Rachel’s family ranch was hit by a mudslide in June, so she’s anxious to replace some of the things she lost, she said.
So far, there are about a dozen people signed up to compete. Everyone, including Rachel, is hoping that more gusty performers sign up.
“I know some people who are performing who are pretty good, but I still think I have a shot,” Rachel said.
Rachel’s sister, Olivia, reminds her that practicing as much as she does could be detrimental to her voice.
“I practice so much that sometimes it’s like, oh no, I don’t have a voice!” Rachel said. “I just really love singing.”
Other people love listening to Rachel sing, too.
“She’s very good,” Lewis said. “I think she’s got a good chance of winning. She sounds like an angel ” so soft and pure and beautiful.”
Rachel has been taking voice lessons from Maxine Graboyes, a former Broadway actress and singer who teaches voice out of a dedicated room in her West Vail home. Graboyes told her vivacious country music loving student about the competition.
The young girl has several songs ready for the competition, including “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts, “My Hero” by Bette Midler and “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.
“It’s going to be really fun,” Rachel said. “I’m excited to see if I’m really cut out for singing on stage. I’m nervous, but excited.”
Rachel hopes to be a country music star someday, she said.
“I like the stories they tell in country music, and you can hear the voices really well,” she said.
Rachel’s mom, Sally, starts crying at the thought of her daughter’s achievements.
“I’m a wreck when either of my kids are involved in something,” she said. “I’m out in the audience shaking like a leaf and crying. I try not to be too embarrassing ” I’m very proud of them.”