DIXFIELD — After winning a second consecutive Down East Country Music Association of Maine’s Top Vocalist of the Year award, a recent Dirigo High School graduate has earned a third shot at competing in the North America Country Music Associations International competition in Tennessee.

In 2013, Melanie Jordan was named Rising Star 2013 by the Down East Country Music Association of Maine and took second place, qualifying for the Tennessee competition for the first time. Her performances in Tennessee in 2014 led to her winning fifth place in the 13-to-16-year-old age bracket for new modern country and a Future Star of Tomorrow Award.

In 2014’s Maine competition, she won three awards: Junior Modern Vocalist, Entertainer of the Year and Duet of the Year. She again qualified for the competition in Tennessee, where aspiring country, gospel and bluegrass artists are given the opportunity to compete before state and international country music industry personnel.

At the 2015 competition, she competed in the 17-20 age range in the vocalist, duet and entertainer categories.

On Aug. 23, Jordan competed again in the awards ceremony for the Down East Country Music Association of Maine, where she won “Vocalist of the Year” for the second consecutive year.

Jordan performed in the New Modern Female Vocalist and Entertainer, age 17-20 category, and the New Modern Duet, age 17-20 category.


She also performed in the Mixed Age Duet category with musician Brian Plato and his son, Donovan.

Her wins earned her another trip to Tennessee, where she will have another opportunity to compete.

Jordan, who splits her time between living with her mother, Mandy Bither Jordan, in Dixfield, and her father, Brian Jordan, in Canton, said that she has been performing on stage for “nearly five years,” beginning with a performance at the Festival of Trees event in Rumford.

“I got into music at a young age and have always had a strong interest in it,” Jordan said.

She first learned about the Down East Country Music Association through a friend, and was motivated to join when she learned she could earn a chance at visiting Tennessee.

“I was all for that,” Jordan said. “Nothing would stop me from competing.”


Although Jordan’s next trip to Tennessee isn’t until March 2016, she said she’s already looking forward to it.

“It’s going to be my third year in Tennessee, and at this point, the Country Tonite Theatre is a second home to me,” Jordan said. “I don’t get as nervous as I used to. I know a lot of the people there, and they’re all supportive and friendly. I’d love to perform there year-round.”

Jordan said that the first time she competed in Tennessee, she was “terrified.”

“The stage was huge,” she said. “Up until that point, I never had so much room to move around on stage. The second time I performed was much easier. I knew the stage, I knew the people, and I knew I was going to do my best. Now that I’m coming up on my third year, I’m just excited. I can’t wait for that spacious stage and the bright lights.”

Jordan has also begun learning how to play the guitar, which adds a new element to her performances.

“I feel I’ve done well for learning how to play a few months ago,” Jordan said. “I perform with my guitar regularly now, thanks to Paul Bright, who performs at the Livermore gazebo every other Thursday. He’s one of my mentors with the guitar.”

In terms of musicians that she looks to for motivation, Jordan said Maine musician Donovan Plato has “taught me a lot,” and that another musician, Meaghan Martin, taught her basic chords.

“Also, my stepmother, Pauline Mailhot, is a musician and has been performing for quite a while,” Jordan added. “Last, but definitely not least, is my second dad: Brian Plato. He gives me tips, pointers, and lessons. He’s been pulling me along and getting me to catch up with everyone else. I feel like I’m almost there.”


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