Wednesday, October 31, 2018
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office
ADA, Okla. – The McSwain Theatre Grand Awards Show—an entertainment competition showcasing local artists—culminated with a red carpet event Oct. 20, at the historic theater.
Local vocalists arrived in limousines before show time. Contestants returned to the stage for a final performance before category winners and “Entertainer of the Year” were announced. Jae L. and Crossover, known for their monthly show filled with live music and entertainment, performed alongside competitors.
“I love watching the entertainers as they gear up to go through the show, cheering for each other, uplifting each other and everyone they come in contact with here at the McSwain,” said Jae L. Stilwell, general manager of the McSwain Theatre. “That is what this show is all about--caring and sharing to make a difference in each other’s lives.”
Last month’s semifinal round determined all category winners. Categories included: 16 and under, gospel, female and male. Winners were determined through an audience vote.
Winners of the McSwain Theatre’s 2018 Grand Awards Show were:
Entertainer of the Year and male categories: Bo Posey of Wetumka
Bo Posey earned two wins in this year’s Grand Awards Show: both the male and entertainer of the year categories.
Posey is a fiddler and vocalist from east central Oklahoma who supports his wife and two children with a construction company called Posey Construction. He also offers custom cattle grazing out of “9 Ranch.”
He grew up listening to country music on 98.5 KVOO, Tulsa’s Country Variety station. He appreciates western swing and country music, but particularly looks up to his fiddler hero, Johnny Gimble.
He is currently in the band Swing Shift and has his own band called Bo Posey and Horse with No Name.
Some of Posey’s favorite artists are Bob Wills, George Strait, Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Marty Robbins and Vince Gill.
He was inducted into the Sacramento Western Swing Society in 2014. He is a member of the Oklahoma State Fiddlers Association. He and his wife have two children.
Posey’s winning performances were of John Anderson’s “Seminole Wind” and Gene Watson’s “Memories to Burn.”
Other finalists in the Entertainer of the Year category included Anne Young of Murphy, Texas, Cathy Lake of Runaway Bay, Texas, Clancy Davis of Ada and Wiley Winters of Pauls Valley. Other finalists in the male category included Clancy Davis of Ada, Sherman Andrus of Moore, Wayne Gibbs of Konawa and Wiley Winters of Pauls Valley.
Female category: Haley Miller of Ada
Haley Miller was born and raised in Ada and still lives there with her husband of 13 years, Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 3 Troy Miller and their two children, Tucker and Harper.
Miller said she did not grow up in a musical family, but her parents played a lot of music she enjoyed. She started off listening to Reba McEntire and Martina McBride and eventually looked to classic singer-songwriters like Lynn Anderson and Townes Van Zandt.
She saw her first concert, the Beach Boys, at age 6 and had her first taste of musical performance at age 9 in a furniture store’s karaoke display, singing “Walking after Midnight.”
Her history with the McSwain Theatre stretches back to her childhood, when she took voice lessons with Jae L. Stillwell. She recalls auditioning to perform on the McSwain Theatre stage when she was 16.
“I have been blessed enough that Jae L. has asked me back over all these years,” Miller said. “It’s like home to me, I love it and I’m just so happy we have this amazing theater right here in our little town.”
Noteworthy stages and performances under Miller’s belt include the national anthem at Oklahoma City Dodgers games, the Built Ford Tough series at the Chesapeake Arena and at many military functions, such as award and deployment ceremonies and the Military Ball.
Miller’s winning performance during the Grand Awards Show was of Martina McBride’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”
Other finalists in the female category included Anne Young of Murphy, Texas, Cathy Lake of Runaway Bay, Texas, Mary Alford of Caney and Missy Rude of Pauls Valley.
Gospel category: Kenn Hancock of Ada
Kenn Hancock was born in Ponca City, grew up in Midland, Texas, and now resides in Ada with his wife of 48 years, Johnnie Hancock.
In addition to his country gospel performances, locals might recognize him from his yearly Christmas lights show on 12th Street, synchronized to music on the radio.
“I always tell everybody, I’ll sing at the drop of a hat,” Hancock said, “and most of the time I’ll drop the hat for you.”
Singing has been a lifelong enjoyment for Hancock, though it has taken many forms over the years.
In high school, he and his band the Mystics won their fair share of local competitions. After graduating, during his 13-year service in the U.S. Army, Hancock’s musical ambitions were on hold.
When he left the service, Hancock said rock had moved more to heavy metal, so he turned to country. He sang for a country western band for five years in Texas, until he moved back to Oklahoma.
In 1986, Hancock said he was saved and began walking a different musical path.
“I told the Lord I would be singing for him,” Hancock said. “So, I’ve done nothing but country gospel ever since.”
Now, one of his main stages is that of Crosspointe Church in Ada, where Hancock is an elder and active in praise and worship. He has also performed at the Cowboy Church in Ada and McAlester. He has been performing on the McSwain Theatre stage since before it was remodeled.
Hancock’s winning performance was of Trace Adkins’ “Wayfaring Stranger.”
Other finalists in the gospel category included Anne Young of Murphy, Texas, Cathy Lake of Runaway Bay, Texas, Clancy Davis of Ada and Sherman Andrus of Bethany.
Sixteen and Under: Tanner Massey of Choctaw
This is the second year the McSwain Theatre has named the talented teen Tanner Massey the 16 and under Grand Awards Show awardee.
Massey was born in Tyler, Texas, but moved to Oklahoma before he started kindergarten. He has performed the national anthem for Big 12 baseball championships and for Oklahoma City Dodgers games. On a regular basis, Massey performs at the McSwain Theatre and area festivals.
He can be found on multiple social media platforms with the handle “MusicByTanner.” A music video for his song “Never Gonna Let You Go” can be found on YouTube.com.
In addition to his time performing as a guitarist and vocalist, Massey has also put time into acting and recently signed with the Osbrink agency out of Los Angeles. One of his upcoming gigs will task him with traveling to Germany to lend his voice to an animated film.
Massey’s winning performance was of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats.”
Other finalists in the 16 and under category included Callie Burns of Benington, Grace Deering of Ada, Kensingtyn Curtis of Roff and Micah Summers of Moore.
With the 2018 Grand Awards Show complete, Jae L. and Crossover will continue performing on the third Saturday of each month at the McSwain Theatre.
Regular admission is $15, seniors receive a discounted $13 admission and tickets for children age 12 and under are $10. Special rates are available for groups of 15 or more.
For ticket information, contact the McSwain office at (580) 332-8108 or visit http://www.mcswaintheatre.com.
Follow theater updates on Facebook at Facebook.com/McSwainTheatre or on Twitter at Twitter.com/McSwainTheatre.