HANCEVILLE, Ala. — As Breanna Moore steps off the stage of the Valley Theater at the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., fans surround her and compliment her performance during the Country Crossroads show. A smile on her face, she graciously accepts their praise, thanks them for coming to the show and poses for photos.
“It’s great,” she said of the attention. “I like having my picture made, I’m kind of a ham.”
The Arab, Ala., native is 2008 graduate of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., where she was a member of the show and concert choirs. As the show captain and senior member of the Country Crossroads cast, Moore makes sure her colleagues are ready to hit the stage. Moore said she uses techniques she learned from her instructors at the college.
“Every day I have to hear whether they’re going sharp, flat, are their harmonies together,” she said. “Leading warm-ups, I do half the warm-ups that Mr. (Mike) Sparks and Mrs. (Tiffany) Richter do.”
Her former instructors expected Moore to flourish in her career.
“She’s very talented,” Mike Sparks said. “I’m not surprised at all she’s had the success she’s had at Dollywood.”
“Breanna is a little firecracker,” said Tiffany Richter. “I knew she was meant for the stage the moment I first saw her perform.”
Of course, there are some things one can learn only by experience, like how to deal with the elements while performing in an outdoor theater.
“We have to deal with the train,” Moore said of the World War II era steam locomotive that passes by on elevated tracks nearby. “If it’s a very humid day, the smog likes to sit, so we’re breathing in those fumes for the entire show.”
The heat and insects are other factors. “If you get stung you’ve got to keep on going,” she said. “I got bitten last year by a big ole’ horst bug, right in the middle of my song. I just had to sit there and deal with it until I get done. It’s just part of it.”
Moore and her fellow cast members have to deal with those things no fewer than four times a day, as they perform four 30-minute shows on regular days and five on Saturday. That will change to five shows on regular days and six shows on Saturdays during the Great American Summer months.
But Moore loves it. “I love this show,” she said. “It’s my kind of music. Old country is what I like the best.”
Moore said she’s the belter of the group. “And I like it that way,” she said. The show is a revue of classic country music, with Moore singing portions of songs from some of country music’s greatest female vocalists, such as Reba McIntire and Martina McBride.
Her greatest experience in her three years at the park, however, was getting to sing with Dolly Parton. “We got to sing ‘9 to 5’ and ‘I Will Always Love You’ and when you get to sing ‘9 to 5’ with Dolly Parton, kind of nothing is bigger than that,” she said.
Moore was joined at the park this year by another Wallace State alum, Paige Harbison, who now performs in the Dreamland Drive-In show. “She’s phenomenal,” Moore said of Harbison. “She fit right in perfectly.”
For more information about Wallace State, visit www.wallacestate.edu, or all 256.352.8000 or toll free at 866.350.9722.