RUMFORD, Maine — Mountain Valley High School senior Ashleigh Milligan will audition for “The Voice” for a second time next week.
“I finally decided to follow my dreams instead of fantasizing about them,” Milligan said. “I decided that I could no longer sit in little Rumford, Maine. I need to go somewhere instead of just talking about it.”
It has been a long journey for her. Milligan auditioned for “The Voice” in July 2011 at the Izod Center in New Jersey. She performed “How Far we’ve Come” by Matchbox 20.
“That day I didn’t get a call back,” she said. “But in October, a scout from the show called me back. He said I had a great voice but I needed to improve on my interaction with the audience. He hoped I would audition again.”
In the meantime, the senior worked on applying to college in music. She sent out applications and filled out scholarship applications. In February, Milligan was invited to audition at Berklee College in Boston, where she hopes to major in vocal performance and minor in songwriting.
“When we got back from Boston, I got a text message saying open call auditions would be in New York on March 10 and 11,” she said. “I went online and signed up for an appointment on March 10. I’m not sure yet what I’ll sing — either ‘Turning Tables’ by Adele or a country song.”
Milligan’s voice is familiar to many in the area. She often sings the national anthem at basketball and football games as well as at American Legion functions in Rumford. She is also a member of the Mountain Valley High School chorus and a regular soloist at MVHS concerts.
Music teacher, Mike Prescott, was instrumental in Milligan’s decision to audition. “Mr. Prescott sends me inspiring emails to give me tons of confidence,” said Milligan. “It’s pretty much a pep talk through email. I wouldn’t have done it without his support.”
Prescott has taught Milligan in chorus, music appreciation, music theory, introduction to guitar and improvisation. Before entering high school, Milligan took voice lessons beginning in fifth grade.
Milligan also credits her mother, Erika Bickford, for her support.
Milligan said, “My mom isn’t one of those parents who forces a dream upon their child. She let me pick my dream and follow it. She is breaking her bank to go with me to New York so soon after our trip to Boston.”
Asked how people could support her, she said, “Think positive thoughts on Saturday and then watch out for me.”