PRESTONSBURG – A former student of the Hindman Settlement School’s Folk Arts Program, Junior Pro. Gracie Thomspon will join in a chorus of yuletide later this month with Billie Jean’s Kentucky Opry Christmas.
Gracie Noel Thompson, 12, a student at Allen Central Middle School is in her fourth year with the Junior Pros and says the experience has been wonderful.
“I’m going to be sticking with it for a while. It’s like family here,” says Gracie who is a singer with the group. “I love it.”
Gracie is the daughter of Gina and Neal Thompson.
Gracie says that she spends most of her time singing and recently began taking piano lessons. “Piano is harder. Singing really comes naturally to me.”
Her singing has catapulted her to several stages in the last few years, as she was invited by Hindman Settlement School to perform in Washington D.C. for the Daughters of the American Revolution followed up by a trip to Keeneland to sing the national anthem.
Gracie says her love of horses made the second stop a real treat. “I got to go to the winners circle after the fifth race and presented the trophy to the winner. It was awesome.”
In 2011, a bit of creative sign making landed Gracie on stage at Renfro Valley with Country Music Highway star Billy Ray Cyrus. “I made a sign that read, ‘KY Opry Jr. Pro. Can I sing with you?’” Gracie says the inspired artwork paid off, and Gracie was invited on stage to sing “Butterfly Fly Away” with Cyrus.
Gracie’s sister is Holley Thompson, last year’s Road to Fame winner. When asked who is the better singer, Gracie just smiles and says, “I don’t know.”
Gracie will be on stage beginning Nov. 29 for this year’s ensemble performance of Billie Jean’s Kentucky Opry Christmas. Tickets are on sale now at the ticket office. Order them by phone at (606)886-2623 locally or toll free at (888) 622-2787. Tickets can also be ordered online at www.macarts.com.