By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
While hundreds strolled the sidewalks of downtown Atmore last Thursday to enjoy Music on Main, the several dozen who gathered in a grassy field on the northern rim of Main found just as much enjoyment.
Each of the five singers who appeared on the lighted stage brought their own “fan clubs,” or cheering sections, making for a lively 90 minutes of competition. Some sang karaoke-style, to recorded music, some accompanied themselves on guitar, and one three-piece group performed.
“It was really hard for the judges to decide,” said Wendy Classen, owner of the local Subway restaurant, the event’s sponsor. “We had so much great talent out here, so much variety in the music.”
Initial plans had called for prizes of Subway gift cards to the top three competitors, but the quality of the performances caused the addition of a fourth.
“It was so, so close and so much fun that we’re going to do four,” Classen said, who also announced that everyone who took to the stage would be given a free meal at the local sandwich shop.
David Maddox of Brewton’s DMS Sound & Stage handled stage direction and the sound system, locating music for those who performed without accompaniment and adjusting the sound for those who brought their own instruments.
Samantha Johnson, who took home a $500 gift card, was declared the winner after judges huddled for several minutes to work out a deadlock between three performers.
Amar Wilson took second place and earned a $250 gift card, while Jessica Carraway, who strummed her guitar as she sang, was awarded third place and a $100 gift card, and Buddy Strehl won a $25 gift card for fourth place.
Emily Wilson, executive director of Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, agreed that the performers and the crowd were top-notch.
“Tonight was just amazing,” she said. “We super-appreciate it. Thank all of you guys for coming out. We really appreciate it.”