Special to the Times-Record
Amanda Grafing of Valley City, along with Paul Leier, owner/operator of Big Hammer Music Entertainment, will be providing music on Wednesday, July 11th at the Courthouse Lawn starting at 7:15 pm.
Amanda graduated from VCHS in 2007. After graduation she was hired by John Deere Seeding Group where she is about to complete her 5th year.
Paul Leier is the owner and operator of Big Hammer Music Entertainment. He has been doing DJ - Karaoke since 1995 in Twin Cities and North Dakota Area.
Amanda’s singing dates back to her first singing in church when she was 5 years old. She has always had a love of music, but music is very personal to Amanda. She was in choir at VCHS for 6 years, competed in music contests around ND through school and was even able to represent her school in NYC. She was recruited by several universities to join their music programs but her heart was not to be a music teacher her music was her own.
She didn’t sing much after high school until 2011 when one of her friends signed her up for the We Fest Karaoke Roundup in February. She was hesitant but realized that she would have a good time doing it, if nothing else. She won 1st place on the first night of the round up singing “Stay” by Sugarland. She didn’t have to compete again until April when all of the area place holders had a “sing off”. She advanced to Four Bears Casino in New Town after singing “Cowboy Casanova” by Carrie Underwood.
On May 14th, the Top 5 to 7 Finalists from the 11 ND cities gathered in New Town to compete on yet another rung of the ladder to get to the WE Fest Stage. She competed with the best of the best from North Dakota in the final eliminations to see who would be named the Final 15 from North Dakota that would go on to Hinckley, Minnesota to battle against the Final 15 from Iowa, SD, Northern MN and Southern MN. Amanda was selected as one of the Finalists to represent ND at the Grand Finals at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, MN on June 19th, 2011. The We Fest promoters reported that just a little over 9,000 singers from ND had competed from February to May. She went on to Hinckley but did not make it to the Final 3. However, the experience and memories made along the way were well worth it.
Today, Amanda just sings for fun. She and her friends and family, just follow Big Hammer Entertainment around the area wherever he is set up and she has a great time singing for her friends. If she’s not singing, she’s working or driving her motorcycle somewhere. Amanda is the daughter of Rod and Vicki Grafing. She has 2 siblings Miranda and Christopher.
Music at the courthouse is sponsored by the Valley City Parks & Recreation District, Bridges Arts Council & Dakota Country. A free will offering is taken to support “Save the Bandshell”. Bring your lawn chair or blanket. In case of inclement weather, the program will be held in the City Auditorium.