Each year, classes at J.T. Alton Middle School vote on superlatives. Last school year, Brayden Hall was voted “most likely to win ‘The Voice.’”
The 14-year-old eighth-grade student took that encouragement and auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” Feb. 16 in Nashville.
He remembers it being a very cold day and standing outside in line for about an hour, thinking he would get frostbite before he got inside.
In fact, there was a lot of standing in line that day. Hall estimates more than 2,000 people auditioned.
Eventually, he was placed into a room with a producer. All contestants sat in chairs and took turns singing.
“All the people in there were amazing,” Hall said.
He said the producer told them the show wouldn’t take callbacks from anyone in that particular group.
“It was a great experience and I’m glad I actually got to do it,” he said.
The show’s producer didn’t provide any feedback, but others in the group talked to each other and reacted to each other’s performance, he said. Hall said he was surprised some he heard weren’t chosen.
“One of the callback people said that you audition for something and if they tell you no it doesn’t mean you just stop and quit,” Hall said.
You can learn from it and try again, he said.
He’s thinking of trying out for “The Voice” again next year if there are auditions in the area.
Last week he got a callback for an arts international program for a showcase in Orlando, Florida. He also wants to audition for the talent showcase at the Kentucky State Fair.
“He amazes me, the way he picks up stuff,” his mom, Amy Hall, said.
He sings in the car in the morning and they jam on the way to school, she said.
“The first time I really heard him sing was practicing in the shower for his talent show,” she said, adding she was surprised by his talent.
Now, they look for things for him to do to see where he can go with music.
His class is going to New York City on its eighth-grade trip and she said she knows he’s looking forward to seeing Broadway’s theater district.
Hall has been singing since the fifth grade.
“I fit in, it’s something I love,” he said.
He started studying with a voice teacher in sixth grade and “rocked the talent show,” he said.
Hall wants to someday be a performer or a music teacher, he said.
“I’m good with understanding and helping people,” he said of possibly being a teacher.
His band teacher, Byron Witham, called Hall an “amazing student” and “great musician.”
Hall plays percussion in band.
“He works really well with others and has a great sense of humor. He makes me laugh every day,” Witham said.
He said Hall gives 110 percent all the time.
The first time Witham heard Hall sing he was participating in karaoke one day during lunch. Witham said he thought it was a teacher singing.
“And he’s standing there with the microphone whenever I got to the cafeteria,” he said. “This kid is going to be successful in whatever he does.”
Along with band, Hall is active in youth theater and doing things with his dad, Jeremy’s FFA group at John Hardin High School. He’s a part of symphonic band, pep club and works the concession stand at school events.
For anyone who wants to try something they love, he said “go for it.”
“I’m young and have so many years to come to audition,” he said. “If you really have your heart set on something, just do it.”
He said it doesn’t matter if it’s music, sports or whatever you are into. The point is to try it.