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Local woman helps give voice to ‘Voice’ competitor

NATCHEZ — As a voice coach of 20 years, new Adams County resident Rhonda Tarver might watch “The Voice” with strictly academic interest.

Koryn Hawthorne performed in Tuesday night’s broadcast of “The Voice” and was selected to join the talent competition. (submitted photo)

Koryn Hawthorne performed in Tuesday night’s broadcast of “The Voice” and was selected to join the talent competition. (submitted photo)

But the most recent episode of the voice competition held special interest for Tarver. That’s because one of her most successful students is competing on the NBC show, which airs at 7 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays.

Contestant Koryn Hawthorne of Abbeville, La., performed for the show’s coaches in the episode that aired last night. Those coaches are Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Pharrel Williams.

Hawthorne earned a two-chair turn from Aguilera and Williams. She chose Aguilera to be her coach.

To hear Tarver tell it, Hawthorne seemed destined for the spotlight ever since she started taking voice lessons with Tarver at age 8.

In the nine years since then, Hawthorne has won numerous singing competitions, including two wins on “Showtime at the Apollo.”

“She has such a strong voice,” said Tarver, who still works as a voice coach. Tarver recently married and moved to Adams County from south Louisiana.

At age 17, Hawthorne has the voice of a grown woman, Tarver said, but that is not the only special quality that sets her apart.

Tarver

Tarver

“She’s extremely well grounded and has a beautiful heart, and she’s said she wants to stand for something,” Tarver said.

“We’ve got a motto: ‘Your talent is a gift from God. What you do with that talent is your gift to God.”

Hearing a longtime student of hers perform for the nation is thrilling, she added.

“I’m so filled with pride. ” she said.

“I want everyone to watch and support her. I hope everyone will grow to love her as I love her.”

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