Meet Cass County’s best voices

Sixteen-year-old Kaela Lawrence gave judges the goosebumps and she sang deep from her heart last week on the stage of the county fair’s Cass County Voice competition.

As Lawrence strummed the chords of a self-written number, “Forever the Same,” her voice also captured the hearts of the audience, as well.

“It was a very well-written song,” a judge told the home-schooled teen from Lee’s Summit.

In a second performance, Lawrence sang “Beautiful, Beautiful,” a worship song by Christian recording artist Francesca Battistelli.

“I feel like God has given me music to share with the world,” Lawrence said. “I really like worship leading so I hope that someday I will be able to give back and be able to share God’s word in musical ways so that (people) are not intimidated by it.”

At the end of the show, the judges named Lawrence the winner of the 15-and-older singing competition division of the contest, as well as the Cass County People’s Voice of Choice titleholder.

The new event was held on opening day of the 20th annual Cass County Fair in Pleasant Hill. Local musician Carolyn Bolinger organized the competition.

“I am really pleased with those who came out and participated, as well as the audience,” she said. “I think music sets a tone and a foundation for people’s spirits to have hope and joy throughout the fair.”

As a result of winning, Lawrence will be eligible to sing at the Missouri State Fair Amateur Idol Vocal Competition and at the Pleasant Hill Hope Harvest Fest in October. She also can try out for a guest artist performance at the Big Creek Country Show.

Lawrence says she been performing with her guitar since she was 12 years old. She currently leads worship in her youth group at Life Christian Church in Lee’s Summit.

Judges also named 10-year-old Alex Good, of Pleasant Hill, winner of the “14 and under” talent showcase division. Good performed “Headphones” by Christian artist Britt Nicole.

Judges made rave reviews about Good’s performance, telling her how awesome it was, after Good rocked the stage with her voice. Good, too, will have the opportunity to try out for the Big Creek Country Show and to perform at Hope Harvest Fest.

Pleasant Hill-based boy rock band “Consider the Lemming” was noted as the only group performance in the competition. The band consists of lead vocalist Lonnie Yost, Justin Longmeyer and Mason Potter, guitars, Jacob Denney, bass, and Kamron LaMar, drums and percussion.

In all, the show featured 11 performances.