Noelle Goodson makes the final four 2013.08.07


Noelle Goodson was in the eye doctor’s office when the call came and she didn’t know that she missed it until she and her mother were on their way out, paying the receptionist.

She looked at her phone and saw there was a missed call regarding the National Anthem singing contest that she entered. She stepped outside and called back. No answer. She called a second time and then a third.

Finally, on the fourth attempt, she got a live voice—a voice telling her, “Congratulations, Noelle, you made the final four!”

“I started crying,” Noelle said.

noelle.goodsonThe contest representative asked if she was all right. Just happy and excited, she explained.

She stepped back into the office to tell her mother and the two caused a bit of a commotion.

Noelle and three others emerged from a top 20 pool to become the final four in the “Stand and be Heard” Anthem Singing Contest sponsored by FMC Corporation. A panel of judges chose them to receive  $5,000 college scholarships and take an expense-paid trip to Nashville. There’s even more at stake for the overall winner.

The competition started with 185 entries from students around the country. Each contestant entered a video which was posted on the FMC website.

“I probably watched about 30 of them,” Noelle said. “I did hear some good ones. I just listened to the other three finalists and they’re very good.”

Pam Schultz, Noelle’s agricultural teacher at Fayette High School, told her about the contest and urged her to do something creative.

Mrs. Schultz remembered that Noelle sang the national anthem at the Ohio state basketball championships and suggested sending that video in for her contest entry.

“It was different and unique,” Noelle said. It was a live performance rather than simply standing in front of a microphone.

It got her through to the finals, but she says it’s not her best performance. She’s hoping the best yet occurs in Nashville.

Between Aug. 16 and 18, each finalist will spend time in a recording studio making a professional version of the anthem. An interview will also be included in the video.

Starting Aug. 26, the contest turns back to where it started—judging by online voting. Noelle will compete against finalists from North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana for the most votes to see who wins an additional $10,000 scholarship. Voting closes Sept. 15 and the winner will be announced three days later.

The new videos will be posted before Aug. 26 when voting begins. Mark your calendar, then go to for details when voting is ready to start.