‘America’s Got Talent’ finalist to inspire with live performance

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Andrea Hammack

Staff Writer

“America’s Got Talent” star, Mandy Harvey, is coming to Troy on Monday, Feb. 4, for the first stop on her tour through Alabama and Louisiana. 

Harvey first gained major recognition when she took part in and reached the finals in AGT’s 12th season.  

She not only impressed the judges with her beautiful voice, but she also earned Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer and was immediately sent into the live shows.

John Jinright, associate professor of music and member of the Troy Arts Council, met Mandy and her agent 18 months ago at a booking conference in Orlando. 

“We book the highest quality artists that I can find that fit our mission of arts education and quality aesthetic experiences,” Jinright said. “I think everyone that comes will have a great time. “She’s such a tremendous inspiration!”

It wasn’t just her voice which captured all of America on AGT, but also her story and outlook on life seemed to inspire everyone, Jinright said.

At the age of 18, Mandy lost her hearing due to a connective tissue disorder.

Wanting to pursue Vocal Music Education, this derailed her plans a bit, but it did not discourage her from reaching her goals. 

In spite of her setbacks, she now gets to spread her message and love of music from muscle memory, visual tuners, trusting her pitch and feeling vibrations through the floor while performing barefoot.

According to Steve Netsky, executive assistant of Harvey’s management company (Ed Keane Associates), Mandy is looking forward to being on the road.

“Mandy is always excited to be on the road, bringing her music and her message to new audiences,” Netsky said. 

Students who come to the show can expect to hear a wide range of Harvey’s discography.

“You can expect to hear Mandy’s most well-known songs, like “Try” and “Mara’s Song,”” Netsky said. “And also some songs that will be new to you.

“Her shows are always unique, in view of the challenges she’s faced and her ability to work her story into her presentation.”

In larger venues, Harvey is usually accompanied by her band. When she is in smaller areas, it is just her and her ukulele. 

For this performance, Mandy will also have the help of a few students on campus. An American Sign Language interpreter will be accompanying her during her performance. 

“I’m thankful that Troy University’s own American Sign Language students will be helping with the show,” Jinright said. “Mandy has selected three of them to help her sign at the show.”

Jinright also shared his concerns about how many people will actually show up to see the performance. 

“Our arts council doesn’t do a very good job with advertising, so I don’t know how many people will show up to these shows,” Jinright said. “With an all-volunteer organization, it’s difficult to get people to help with marketing and advertising.”

Both Netsky and Jinright highly encourage everyone to experience the unique performance. 

“Mandy brings a special combination of outstanding singing, songwriting and rapport with the audience to each show,” Netsky said. “She also brings a message of inclusion and hope, a good message for everyone watching.” 

Since Troy Arts Council doesn’t have its own venue, it relies on Troy University’s facilities to make these events happen. In exchange for letting the TAC use the theatre, the group keeps their student prices low and provides 125 free student tickets for every show (on a first come, first serve basis). 

The performance starts at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4, in the Crosby Theatre and is $5 for students and $20 for general admission. 

“Mandy Harvey is awesome and capable of making lasting impacts on her audiences,” Jinright said. “But don’t take my word, get a ticket and come see her perform live!” 

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