Deric Jeffers likes to sing and play music. In fact, music has been an interest for him since he was a small 2-year-old singing in church.
Now, with a lot of experience under his belt, he is reaping rewards for his dedication to what may someday become his chosen profession.
Last weekend, he competed in the North American Country Music Association International in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., and came away as the Horizon 2014 Male Entertainer of the Year and the Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year. He won the awards over many talented musicians who came from as far away as Canada, Maine, California, Vermont and many other states.
In addition to the competition, he took part in numerous jam sessions and served as an escort for the female winners during the awards banquet.
“I saw some very talented musicians (at the NACMAI),” he said.
He in addition to singing country and Christian selections, Jeffers plays the guitar, mandolin, banjo and piano. He has also written about 30 songs, with several of those copyrighted and others are pending.
Jeffers spends a lot of his weekends at The Connection in Speedwell, Tenn., singing with the band Silver Clouds during open mike sessions.
Among the many venues for his performances have been the Poke Sallet Festival, Relay for Life, Festival of the Mountain Masters, Hall of Fame Festival at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, various community benefits.
“I am now assessing it as a career,” admitted Jeffers after returning with the awards earned at the NACMAI. “It most definitely is a love.”
His postsecondary interest is music, but the school he will choose to attend is still to be determined.
“Deric is a great kid. He is a wonderful musician who is extremely very versatile,” said Harlan County High School Choir Director Jeanne Ann Lee. “He is a performer who can handle many different instruments as well as sing vocal lead. He can adapt to any style or genre.”
He has also compiled numerous other accolades through performances with school choirs and has been selected for all-festival and all-state choirs. He was a member of the Harlan Elementary Choir, Harlan Boys Choir and now a member of the HCHS Choir where he is a junior.
He has several performances scheduled, including a gospel event on April 3 at the Harlan Center and the Mountain Heritage Festival on April 6.
Summer bookings are coming in as well, with the White Lightning Festival at Cumberland Gap, Tenn., in June being early on that list.
A member of Boy Scout Troop 149 in Harlan, he is currently working to complete his Eagle project.
Jeffers hobbies include hunting and fishing. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Loyall.
He is the son of Michael and Jennifer Jeffers, of Loyall.