Unique voice propels singer to success
No one was as surprised as Ashley Bitz, a junior at Cy Ranch High School, when she won first place at radio station 93Q's A Day in the CountryColgate Country Showdown" on April 25.
Bitz beat our four male singers that day at Sam Houston Race Park with her original song, Bring It On."
I am actually surprised I won. The other people were really good. I couldn't believe it when they called my name," Bitz said.
She credits the win to her distinctive voice and singing style.
My producer says I have a very unique voice," Bitz said. The performance was really good. There were over 1,000 people there. That was my dream right there. I felt like I was one in a million.
Bitz will now compete at the state level in the Colgate Country Showdown.
Bitz's public performing history dates back only to July 2009 when she performed at the Waller County Fourth of July Freedom Festival.
In less than a year, she has appeared at the NSAI Songwriter in the Round at Mainstreet Crossing in Tomball, Washington County Fair Talent Contest, Old Settlers Music Festival in Austin, Acoustic Mike Night at Dosey Doe in The Woodlands and at Mobius Coffee House in Brenham.
The Colgate Country Showdown wasn't Bitz's first win.
She won first place at the Washington County Fair, First Place at Mainstreet Crossing Open Mic A-La-Palooza and Second Place at The Woodlands Teen Spotlight Show.
Andrew Brockenbush of Faith Recording Studios in Tomball produced Bitz's demo CD of original songs.
He said her work has a specific blend."
It has a pop twist with country geared differently. Her voice is great, great. It has a sweet sound. Her song lyrics are not traditional. She gets across exactly what it is like to be a young girl. The music is geared for all ages. She's willing to be the best she can be," Brockenbush said.
Bitz also shares her talent with the youth group at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Jersey Village, said Brett Ellis, senior high school youth ministry director.
He said her amazing gift" is a tribute to her faith.
She gives all of herself and all the glory to God and her family. When she sings, she reaches out to people with her voice. The youth kids are huge fans. She makes others smile and serves with a humble heart," said Ellis, who has known Bitz for 11 years.
Bitz is the daughter of Mark Bitz, the Jersey Village Fire Department Fire Chief and Reuberta Bitz, a second grade teacher at Hamilton Elementary.
Her history with music began after she finished Ault Elementary.
In sixth grade, Bitz began viola and by age 13, she also started playing acoustic guitar.
She recalls her first onstage performance was singing, That's What Girls Do," with a friend in seventh grade at the school talent show. She performed the next year solo, but added her guitar with the song, Something More.' "
After graduating from Spillane Junior High, Bitz continued playing viola with the Cy Ranch High School orchestra and began writing her own music.
Bitz was still drawn to the stage. She took a chance at the Open Mic at Mainstreet Crossing in Tomball in June 2009.
Her success has been nonstop.
I play my guitar and sing. I love the crowd response. I'm hoping I can sing two songs at the state level because I'd like to get my own material out there," Bitz said.
Her upcoming gigs include Texas Opry House in Magnolia, Texas Talent Showdown and Opening for Keith Wagner at Mainstreet Crossing, and at the Houston Premium Outlets in Cypress.
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