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American Idol contestant performs in Mount Ida

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Family tradition and values were apparent Friday night as American Idol contestant Thomas Stringfellow took to the Front Porch Stage as part of an area youth rally.
At 18 years of age Thomas exudes an aura of experience well beyond his years. He stated that his American Idol audition was his first attempt at singing publicly, but he fell in love with performing instantly.
“I had sang at home, but nothing like that. When I heard about the American Idol audition I decided to give it a shot.” he stated.
Stringfellow and his father, who is also named Thomas, provided the music and the message for the youth rally. The elder Thomas had served as youth pastor at Lake Ouachita Baptist Church in Mount Ida a little over a decade ago. The Stringfellows were deeply involved in the community while living here and were happy to return to the area for the event.
Thomas admitted that this was his first return to the area, but he was looking forward to performing in the area.
He described his style of music as a fusion of pop and reggae. He explained that he was exposed to reggae during his involvement with American Idol and fell in love with the genre.
He said that as a Christian he wanted to perform music with a positive message.
Thomas opened the youth rally with a host of praise and worship songs before his father spoke on bullying. Thomas’s personal relationship with God was evident in the energy found in his performances. He led the worship with an infectious zeal that drew others into the songs.
Ministry is obviously a family affair for the Stringfellows. Thomas’s mom took the stage for a turn at the mike. She performed a rendition of “Amazing Grace” with Thomas accompanying with the tune of “House of the Rising Son” on guitar.
Thomas closed out the show with a few secular songs.
The show was almost cut short due to stormy weather, but he Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office opened the old courtroom in the courthouse and let them finish the event there.