Finding her voice

Freshman Kari Verdeyen competes in Noblesville Idol and wins it all


Photo by Rebecca Manns

Megan Elizabeth and Kennedy Miller

Your nerves build up underneath the bright stage lights, then suddenly melt away with the sight of familiar faces and the beginning of your performance. All eyes are on you as you showcase your talent and hard work in front of both strangers and friends.

Freshman Kari Verdeyen experienced all this and more when she competed in, and won, Noblesville Idol.

Kelsey Maxwell is an assistant choir director at NHS and is one of many people in charge of Noblesville Idol. Noblesville Idol is a singing competition for freshman and up with a cash prize.

“People of all ages can sign up to participate by preparing three songs for the event,” Maxwell said. “The community then votes on who they think should move to the next round, and eventually win the entire show.”

A first place prize in her first ever singing competition came as a surprise to Verdeyen.

“After the whole competition was over, it took me about 24 hours for the shock of me winning to reside,” Verdeyen said.

Verdeyen says music has always been a way she could communicate with others.

“Music, to me, is a language that everyone can understand and a way to express yourself without the use of words,” Verdeyen said.

Music also plays a critical role in Verdeyen’s life and for her identity.

“I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t intrigued by music,” Verdeyen said. “I started singing when I was 11 years old.”

Verdeyen’s biggest influence for participating in Noblesville Idol was her mom.

“I entered the competition because my mom made me do it,” Verdeyen said. “It was actually a lot of fun, so I’m glad she made me.”

Verdeyen enjoys being involved in diverse sports and musical activities.

“I am very musical and sports related. My main sport is volleyball, I play violin in the orchestra, and I play the ukulele,” Verdeyen said.

Freshman Avery Troxel has known Verdeyen since they were children.

“I have known Kari since about third grade. We met through the Boys and Girls Club volleyball program,” Troxel said.

Troxel says Verdeyen stands out among her peers.

“Kari is different from the other show choir members because of her humbleness. She doesn’t brag about her talents,” Troxel said.

After her big win, Troxel has seen a difference in the way Verdeyen presents herself.

“Ever since Noblesville Idol, Kari has come out of her shell and is more open to singing in front of others,” Troxel said.

Maxwell says Verdeyen has lots of opportunities in her future.

“I think she is very talented and could probably go any direction she wants,” Maxwell said.

With her surprising success, Verdeyen predicts that she will participate in more competitions.

“Even before the competition, the idea of me winning seemed so absurd,” Verdeyen said. “With everything that’s happened, it wouldn’t surprise me if I end up doing a competition in the near future.”