Another Belmont student has taken the singing competition stage, giving a four-chair-turn performance on “The Voice.”
Senior commercial voice major Morgan Koontz, better known by her stage name Morgan Taylor, performed before a star-studded panel of judges on NBC’s “The Voice.” Her rendition of Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” prompted three of the four judges to turn around after only hearing the first few notes.
Taylor’s hometown and the Belmont friends tuned in to watch her take center stage and blow everyone away. Her high school choir director Katie Kouns had no doubt that every judge would want to add her to their team.
“I was not one bit surprised that everybody turned around,” she said. “She just has a remarkable voice and I knew for sure that they would all you know hear her and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, this girl's amazing.’”
Beginning in her middle school years, Taylor gained a large following on social platforms after posting her song covers; she currently sits with over 85 thousand followers on Instagram.
Nicole Johnson, Taylor’s middle school choir teacher, knew even in her early years that her talent was something special.
“I was a person who got to watch her shine and be on the receiving end of her talent,” she said. “It sure feels amazing to just see her doing what she's meant to do.”
Excelling throughout middle and high school choir was just a part of who Taylor was – she received many solos and lead musical roles that highlighted her range and powerful pipes.
A longtime friend of Taylor, Savannah Stone, was glad to watch her usually quiet and reserved friend get up on stage and show millions of people her soulful sound.
“I think my initial reaction was just how excited and happy I was for her to see that all her hard work was about to be on center stage,” said Stone.
And her fellow commercial voice majors at Belmont loved watching their friend on stage.
“It's funny how often it seems like it's happened in the past few years,” said senior Chris Wiper. “It's been really cool to watch these people just gradually evolve into their full selves and do what they're meant to do.”
As Taylor continues her time on the show, she’ll be coached by John Legend.
“I just hope that she can find the space to reflect and enjoy this moment by herself, with her family and with those closest to her,” said Stone.
Johnson talks with her current students about Taylor's success and knows that she is a role model to them.
“For me as a teacher, I don't really take any ownership in what she's doing. But I find a lot of joy in just watching her succeed because that's why teachers should become teachers,” said Johnson.
Stone isn’t surprised her friend has found success and can’t wait to watch her grow.
“I freaking knew it,” she said. “She's the best.”
This article was written by Lilly Owens.