DIXFIELD — Wearing jeans with holes in them and a Rolling Stones T-shirt, vocalist Melanie Jordan stood beside her karaoke machine in her living room Wednesday night, waiting for music to begin.
Her mother, Mandy Bither Jordan, stood nearby in their one-story ranch house on Canton Point Road. Their two dogs were shut away in another room, because they would try to rambunctiously join in.
The 17-year-old Dirigo High School junior swayed in place to opening tunes of The Band Perry’s “All Your Life,” and then began to flawlessly sing the memorized lyrics as mom proudly watched.
“She’s a little girl with a big voice,” Bither Jordan said of her nearly 5-foot-tall daughter.
She described Melanie’s singing voice as alto-soprano. Her daughter, who has had no musical training, has been singing since she could talk and singing professionally for about four years. She also loves to sing Italian opera music.
“Her range is amazing,” Bither Jordan said. “She can sing any range, and she can sing Guns and Roses like you wouldn’t believe. Her voice is really rich. She’s a powerhouse.”
Melanie and her mother will leave Maine on Saturday, March 8, and travel by tour bus to Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Pigeon Forge is the location of the famed Dollywood theme park, her mom said.
It’s also where the talented teen will perform on Saturday, March 15, in front of up to 6,000 people during the North America Country Music Associations, International Competition. There, aspiring country, gospel and bluegrass artists are given the opportunity to compete before state and international country music industry personnel.
Melanie Jordan was named Rising Star 2013 and took second place last year in a Maine music competition to qualify for the chance to sing nationally at the Country Tonite Theatre in Tennessee.
To get there and stay for a week while participating in educational workshops, the teen and her mother have been doing fundraising since early November.
“We’re just over the moon that we’re going to get to do this,” Mandy Bither Jordan said.
They also started a GoFundMe account at www.gofundme.com/536iok and had raised $710 toward her goal of $4,000 as of Wednesday.
“People have been so generous,” Bither Jordan said. “She’s received so many donations. Local businesses have been incredible. There are places all the way to Farmington, Wilton and Auburn that have helped.”
She said that when she was in Dunkin’ Donuts in Rumford this week, a woman who had learned about Melanie’s upcoming fundraiser gave Bither Jordan a $100 bill.
Melanie Jordan’s fundraiser will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, at the American Legion in Rumford.
Several of Bither Jordan’s friends have made quilts for the auction, which will also feature a spaghetti dinner and performance by Melanie Jordan.
Bither Jordan, who is an LPN in Rumford, said her daughter has done many charity benefits and volunteers in the River Valley community. She also volunteered at the Victorian Villa nursing home in Canton, where her father, Brian Jordan of Canton, works as a maintenance man. Melanie splits her time with her parents one week at a time.
She has also performed in Litchfield, Mechanic Falls and with the Down East Country Music Association in Westbrook at the Eagles Club. In April, she won the Pine Tree State Country Music Association Competition and the title of Junior Modern Vocalist in 2013.
Melanie Jordan has also signed her first autograph. After a performance, “a little boy wanted me to sign his guitar,” she said.
She has also performed at 49 Franklin’s Kaleidoscope program in Rumford. Co-owner Scot Grassette said Wednesday evening that Melanie Jordan is an incredible vocalist.
“She was awesome,” Grassette said. “She nails it. She’s an awesome vocalist.”
Melanie Jordan said she enjoys singing country music, but also loves classic rock.
“I like all genres of music,” she said. “The Rolling Stones is one of my favorites, and ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ I’d love to sing that, but I’m learning how to play it on my guitar right now.”
When the teen was in first grade, she came home from school one day and sang an Irish lullaby in front of her parents, bringing tears to their faces, Bither Jordan said.
“Her dad is awfully proud of her and encourages her to do what she does,” she said.
Melanie Jordan said she’s taking it all in stride and isn’t nervous about the chance to perform nationally.
She’s even got a back-up plan if her singing career doesn’t work out.
“I’d like to go to art school if my music career doesn’t shoot off like I want it to,”