By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — When London resident Derrick Noe entered a talent contest sponsored by his company, he never dreamed he would be the recipient of the grand prize for an international competition.
The full-time traveling music minister won the "Serco’s Got Talent" competition - American division that includes contestants from North America and South America. The competition was held in Washington D.C., and Noe placed in the Top 4, earning a spot at the international competition in London, England.
While in England, Noe met with his coaches, Carrie and David Grant, who have worked with music legends such as Michael Jackson, The Spice Girls, Gwyneth Paltrow and many others.
“They are probably the best known vocal coaches in England,” Noe said. “They just took me under their wing and, even now, we keep in touch with each other.”
During the international singing competition, Noe took the top spot in the Americas division with his contemporary gospel vocals, placing second overall. His prize included a trophy and $5,000 cash.
“I am so thankful for the opportunity God has given me,” Noe said. “A big door has opened for me. It was a blessing.”
Despite his win in the competition, Noe said he entered the contest with some apprehension.
“There were dancers, singers — of all different styles. It was unbelievable the talent that was in the competition,” he added.
The talent competition was just one phase of the trip to England — which was Noe’s first time overseas.
“Just to experience that and do what I love to do across the world is amazing,” Noe said. “I’ve spent my entire life singing. My wife and I travel full time and minister in music. I do not preach, my wife and I sing.”
Originally from Tennessee, Noe has lived in London for the past eight years and is employed by Serco. He and his wife, Taylor, travel to share their ministry through musical performances and spread God’s love. Noe plays piano and guitar while Taylor contributes her talents on the saxophone, bass guitar, electric guitar and piano.
His achievement has brought him some notoriety, including an interview on Hazard’s WYMT-TV. A woman who viewed the video on Facebook sent a video of his performance to The Ellen DeGeneres Show for consideration for broadcast over national television.
At only 24 years old, Noe looks forward to other opportunities brought about by the talent competition.
“It is all in God’s hands and whatever doors open for me, I’m going to take the opportunity,” he said. “You never know what might happen and I never want to regret not trying.”