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Bishop’s Falls teen wins MusicNL competition

Bishop’s Falls’ Beth Lane recently took the top prize in the MusicNL NewFound Talent Contest as a part of the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Contributed photo
Bishop’s Falls’ Beth Lane recently took the top prize in the MusicNL NewFound Talent Contest as a part of the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Contributed photo

Jennifer Lane often refers to her daughter, Beth, as her songbird.

Since she was three years old and singing in church, Beth has provided much of the soundtrack to her mother’s life.

It is a rare day that Beth isn’t singing a song around her home in Bishop’s Falls. There are even times when Beth’s brother joins in.

“The house is full of music all of the time,” said Jennifer.

For Jennifer, it would be a strange day if her 18-year-old daughter’s voice wasn’t bouncing off the walls of their home.

What started in church expanded as she got older. In elementary school, Beth did a live performance and things really started to go from there.

“I wake up to (her singing) and I go to sleep with (her singing),” said Jennifer.

Beth recently took the top spot in the MusicNL NewFound Talent Contest.

The competition was a pre-recorded event put off as part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival and broadcast over MusicNL social media channels on Sept. 2. It was a "Canadian Idol"-like competition featuring a trio of seasoned musicians as judges.

It was Beth’s second time in the competition, albeit in much different circumstances. Her first foray into the competition happened outside during the 2019 version of the folk festival.

There she performed in front of judges and the outdoor audience.

This year was inside and she was playing to the judges.

The nerves were still there, as they always are when she sings, but she was ready.

“I was a lot more comfortable,” Beth said of this year. “I was a lot more familiar with it.”

She beat a dozen or so other competitors and finished ahead of St. John’s musicians Jenna Maloney (second) and Jayne Batstone (third).

Beth, guitar in hand, made a good impression on the judges with a stirring rendition of Daniel Caeser and H.E.R.’s "Best Part."

It's one of her favourite tracks, and it fits her vocal style.

It showed, as the judges praised her vocals and her musicianship.

“It was pretty shocking,” Beth said of the win. “It was amazing.”

Along with her win, Beth will get the chance to record some tracks — which she has done only once before — and shoot a music video. It is something she is looking forward to doing.

“She was much more prepared this time,” said Jennifer. “I couldn’t have been more proud of her.”

Watching the competition through the lens of a parent wasn’t an easy thing for Jennifer. There are times when her daughter’s confidence in her own abilities doesn’t match the confidence she has in Beth.

She says there are times when she wishes she could will that confidence into her daughter.

“I believe in her more than she believes in herself sometimes,” said Jennifer.

Beth wants to turn her immense talent into a career, and she plans to go to university in Toronto to pursue music.

It is something she has always had. She sings when she is happy and when she is sad.

It's why she still sings both in school and in church.

“I love music,” said Beth. “It’s been a big part of my life.

“It is a part of me at this point.”

Nicholas Mercer is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering central Newfoundland for SaltWire Network

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