A Hope teenager is making a name for herself in the local music scene.
Taylor Bellows, 16, brought home three awards from the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival last month. She won first place in the pop category, second in the folk song category, and was awarded a trophy for her overall vocal performance, beating out five other competitors.
“I was totally blown away when I won the trophy,” said the Grade 10 Hope Secondary School student.
“I thought there were other girls that did just as good as me. I just when in there having fun. Winning was a bonus.”
Bellows has been performing for family and friends for as long as she can remember. She started taking vocal lessons when she was 12 years old, and brought home gold and silver from the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival that year. Bellows also attended a music festival in Vancouver last year, where one of her performances landed her in second place.
“I feel like I can express my emotions through songs. I feel like I connect with people more through music,” she said. “I love performing in front of people – it’s my favourite thing. I get goosebumps every time I sing. I feel like [the stage] is where I’m meant to be.”
Bellows has been training in folk song, classical, and contemporary pop. One of her biggest musical influences is Michael Jackson.
“I always thought he was a really good musician and talented, despite what many people think of him,” she said.
Bellows hopes to make a career out of music, but in the meantime is planning to attend nursing school after high school graduation.
“I like helping people and I want to brighten people’s day even though they’re stuck in a hospital,” she said.
“But music is going to be a part of my life even I don’t become famous. I will always sing.”