Maize grad, former ‘Voice’ singer to perform in Newton

07/16/2014 3:20 PM

07/16/2014 3:18 PM

Kaleigh Glanton has learned a lot about what she wants out of her young singing career since appearing as a contestant on “The Voice” in the spring.

It turns out that after a seven-week gig at a resort on South Padre Island — where she was surprised to find that many people knew who she was — her first headlining performance in the Wichita area is more where she wants to be.

Friday at the Newton Fox Theatre will mark the first time people will be going to a concert specifically to see Glanton, and other acts will be opening for her.

“It’s weird,” Glanton said. “It’s cool.”

And it’s home.

The 20-year-old Maize High grad had headed to South Padre early in the summer just sure that when that gig was up, she’d be moving away from Kansas. But after seven weeks away from home, she realized, “I want to stay in Kansas.”

“I’ve never realized how much I care about my friends and family,” Glanton said. “It was hard. It was really, really hard. ...

“I kind of got to the point where it’s not about fame and fortune for me. It’s about going out there and doing what I love and making people happy. ... That was a huge thing I realized.”

The upbeat Glanton calls her time at the Isla Grand Beach Resort a good experience, despite the loneliness and a rigorous and unaccustomed singing schedule.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t used to singing four hours a night four days in a row. I damaged my vocal cords very badly,” Glanton said. She ended up performing with half a voice, and left the resort a bit early to give her voice some rest and recuperation. Silence was a different kind of rough.

Now, “I’m really excited to start singing again. When I get up there I’m gonna be so happy,” and her audience will see it, Glanton said.

At the Fox, she will perform some original songs along with a mix that will include the Beatles, Norah Jones, Elvis Presley and Lorde. “It’ll be fun,” she said. Opening for her will be two acts: James Dean & Owen McClain, and Lauren Thompson.

The concert is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 and $7.50.

Glanton advanced on “The Voice” through a blind audition and one battle round before being eliminated from the show’s competition in early April. She said she was “very, very much OK” with that.

“I’m happy with the way it turned out, because I’ve always believed in the hard-working way of making it, not having things handed to you. I’m thankful that I didn’t get to where my life would be very hectic and overwhelming or too much at once.”

Glanton is working with friends locally on an album, which she says is going to be “low-key” but “awesome.” She will not have CDs with her to sell at the Newton concert.

She also has other performances in the works, including an appearance at the Kansas State Fair on Sept. 9.

And she will turn 21 in September.

“I can’t wait.”

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