Franklin County Visitors Bureau (FCVB) invites all to experience the talent of the final round of A Cappella & Unplugged 2022 on July 16, 7 PM. Seven finalists will take to the steps of the 1865 Franklin County Courthouse to perform two songs as they vie for the $500 first prize and a chance to perform in front of thousands as part of the evening’s 1864 Ransoming, Burning & REBIRTH. The winner of this year’s competition will be chosen by the public with in-person ballot and a text-in option.

Finalists are Willeby Hayes, Cagan Goldstein, Dee Calhoun, Ryan Brandenburg, Anne Spangle, Lauren Dukehart, and Andelena Jackson. All the Cappella & Unplugged finalists share a passion for music. During the 2022 competition, some of this year’s finalists shared their feelings about music and its importance in their lives.

Ryan Brandenbrg said, “To me, music is all about the freedom of expression. The freedom to pass on traditions that have existed in music for centuries, as well as the freedom to try new things, and experiment. I perform to be a part of the simple magic that is live music. There’s nothing else like it!”

Another contestant, Andelena Jackson, offered her feelings. “Music and singing are my way of remembering and honoring my late mother. She’s the one who taught me to sing.

Dee Calhoun, also known as Screaming Mad Dee, said he was a shy kid and music helped bring him out of his shell. “I’ve always been a very creative person, and music (along with writing) gives me a place to channel that creativity. It’s awarded me many opportunities in life; and through it, I’ve seen many great places and have met many wonderful people. I’ve gotten to travel the world playing music, and for that I am very grateful.”

Lauren Dukehart gave her perspective, too. “Music is a way we can communicate feelings and experiences that can’t just be spoken. Music brings people together in a world that is divided. I perform simply because it’s fun and something that I love. I don’t think people do things just for fun nearly enough.”

Finalist Anne Spangle summed up her feelings, “Music is a true gift I have been blessed with. It’s my calling to write and sing songs and the way I express who I really am.

The 2022 A Cappella & Unplugged musical competition is the eighth annual event. Past winners of A Cappella & Unplugged are 2015: Taylor Piper & Kristopher Potter/A World Apart, 2016: Kate & Isaac, 2017: Elly Cooke, 2018: Alexus Lawson, 2019: For F4ith, 2020: Gabrielle Stone, and 2021: Bailey Appleby. Who will be the 2022 winner?

Join the Franklin County Visitors Bureau on July 16 at 7 PM, enjoy amazing talent, vote for your favorite performer, and be there to find out this year’s champion.