By Andrea McCann Times Sentinel Managing Editor
Zionsville Times Sentinel
---- — A Zionsville youth with career aspirations in the music industry has been invited to perform on the DISH Main Street Stage at this year’s Indiana State Fair. Haleigh Tussinger, 9, was one of the top 10 finalists in the youth division of the first-ever Indiana State Fair Vocal Throwdown after 17 days of public voting.
The youth division is for 6- to 15-year-olds. There also is a junior division for 16- to 21-year-olds. The top 10 winners in each division will perform Saturday, Aug. 3, at the fair, with the youth division beginning at 4 p.m. and the junior division slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. A panel of judges will pare the competitors down to the top five at that time, with those winners performing again on the DISH Main Street Stage Saturday, Aug. 10.
The youth division will take the stage beginning at 2 p.m. and the junior division at 3 p.m. The winners in each division will receive $500 and a trophy. Second-place finishers will receive $250, and third-place finishers will receive $100. “My dad told us about it, and I decided I wanted to do it,” said Haleigh, the daughter of Nicole and Brent Rudisel of Zionsville and Anthony Tussinger of Cloverdale.
Nicole said the family always knew Haleigh could sing, but it wasn’t until a birthday party at a recording studio last year that it became apparent just how talented she is. “We didn’t really know how good she was until then,” Nicole said. “She decided she wanted to do this and has given 100 percent since then.” Haleigh, who will be a fourth-grader at Union Elementary School this year, said she’s been taking voice lessons since December.
She’s performed at the Hurricane Grill in Brownsburg and the Brownsburg Arts Festival, according to her mom. “I’ve only been performing for almost a year, but I’ve been singing my whole life,” Haleigh said. She wants to continue singing for the rest of her life, as well, and is already working toward a musical career. See
Click here to see a video of Haleigh.
Wednesday's Times Sentinel for more on this story.