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Local country artists to perform at State Theater

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By Becca Owsley

The Historic State Theater is going country Saturday as two area singers and Nashville hopefuls take the stage.

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Hannah Ellis of Campbellsville is headlining the event. The singer-songwriter sees her songs as pieces of herself put to music.

“I love being able to put into words what I am feeling or going through,” she said. “Writing is definitely a great career move, but it is also very therapeutic.”

She’s had a few highlights in her career so far, including singing “Let It Be Me” for the fallen officers’ feremony on the Capitol lawn in Washington, D.C.

“That was such a special event to be a part of and I was so honored they chose me to sing one of my songs,” she said.

She also performed in the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, opening for country artists Lee Brice, Jake Owen and Brett Eldredge.

“It’s been a whirlwind and a blessing, to say the least,” she said.

Ellis hopes to bring a lot of energy to the concert Saturday.

“I like to come out on the first note with tons of excitement and set the night up as one that will be full of fun and very entertaining,” she said.

Being able to perform so close to her hometown makes the show feel like a family gathering, she said.

“I not only get to come home and spend time with all those people that give me so much love and support but I am reminded of why I want to work so hard to make them proud of me, proud to call me one of their own,” she said.

Her musical goals are to have more concerts like this weekend’s and to have the chance to work with residents in communities such as Hardin County.

“It’s what makes this job so worth it,” she said.

She also hopes to continue to write good music and have more meetings about her music this year.

“So far, it is shaping up to be a good year. We will see what it holds,” she said.

Theater director Emily West said she is excited to be able to feature local talent at the venue.

“Our area doesn’t have a lot of options for showcasing locals and it gives you a great feeling when you see the performers so excited and appreciative for getting to play to their family and friends in such a beautiful facility,” West said.

Another local, LaRue County native Kenzi Lewis, also will perform during the concert.

“My career in music so far has been amazing and crazy,” Lewis said.

Not only has she auditioned for “American Idol,” but recently she moved to Nashville, which she said is the biggest step she has taken in her career.

“Being 18 years old and living in a city 50 times bigger than your hometown can be crazy for anyone,” she said.

She’s had many songwriting sessions with Nashville artists and recorded a demo with original songs.

In February, she’ll audition for “The Voice” in Nashville, which has her “nervous and excited,” she said.

She plans to perform some of her recent original songs as well as her favorite cover songs at the Elizabethtown concert.

“Performing for a crowd so close to home is always comforting,” she said. “I love knowing that when I look up from singing or playing I will see my friends, family or a familiar face.”

One of her goals is to bring positivity into listeners’ lives.

“I want to be able to inspire people to never give up on their dream and hopefully write the right words that can make someone smile,” Lewis said.

Catch Ellis and Lewis on stage 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the State Theater. Tickets are $8-$12 and $5 for children 12 and younger.

For more information, call 270-234-8258.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.