Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Helping Put Pottstown on the Map

Photo courtesy of Montgomery County Community College
Candace Benson is a 2010 graduate of Pottstown High School.
"Sunday Best" host Kirk Franklin" said he had "never heard of Pottstown, Pennsylvania" before Candace Benson walked onto his stage.

Despite coming in second in the voting for the national gospel-singing contest on BET TV, its likely after her performances he will have a hard time forgetting it.

The nation voted for Geoffrey Golden of Cleveland, Ohio in the final round of the program, but that was not for lack of votes from Benson's hometown.

The 2010 Pottstown High School Graduate was lauded by the judges after singing "I Won't Go Back" and "He Heals Me" during the two-hour finale Sunday night.

"You have grown so much since you came here," judge Donnie McClurkin told Benson Sunday. "There is not a challenge you have shied away from. I cannot tell you how awestruck I am by your latest performance."

"There are some people sitting at home watching you saying 'look at her. She made it all the way here.' And then you confessed that you were weak and God made you strong," said judge Yolonda Adams. "You know I love you."
Photo from Screen Shot/BET Sunday Best 
Candace Benson and Geoffrey Golden,
with host Kirk Franklin, were the two finalists
Sunday night.

"This is the next level and your voice is beautiful," said judge Kierra Sheard. "You are so gifted in all that you do."

Now a music major at Montgomery County Community College, the 22-year-old auditioned last April with hundreds of hopeful singers. 

She was one of 20 contestants selected to sing on the weekly television competition that started in July. Throughout the past several weeks, she successfully made it through each round. After the judges selected the two finalists, the competition was open to the public Aug. 24-30 to vote for their favorite performer via phone, online or mobile app.

Benson, who studied music from a young age at Collegeville Conservatory of Music and at Pine Forge Academy,  will continue her studies this fall to finish her associate’s degree at MCCC’s Central Campus in Blue Bell. 

In addition to her classes, she sings in the College Choir and during Music Wednesdays, when students can perform for the campus during the lunch-time hour. 

Her professors, Andrew Kosciesza and Michael Kelly, among others, have been encouraging her
Photo from Screen Shot/BET 
Sunday Best contestant Candace Benson gets advice 
from mentor Kim Burrell.
throughout the competition and look forward to having her back in classes and the choir, according to a press release issued Monday by the college..

Passionate about music, Benson, who lives on Walnut Street and is also music director at Bethel AME Church in West Chester, started playing the piano when she was only 4 years old. 

She has been singing in choirs and bands at church and with her family for many years. 

To see her performances, visit her website at www.candacebensonmusic.com

Or you can watch this video right here when she sang for us during her Mercury interview.

"You are going to go on and so some great things," McClurkin told Benson after she sang "He Heals Me.".

As far as all her local supporters are concerned, she already has.

1 comment:

  1. She is very talent and their are others in this small town. Come look and see, lately this town has gotten the bad rap. I'm hoping someone like your show will help in looking for other talents in the future. This town is labeled small town small minds lets change the image.