Samford's Jana Anderson
Takes Arts to
Students as Miss Alabama 2000
"It's a crowd-pleaser and
gets the audience involved," she said of the tune.
Sanderson believes early exposure to the arts helps children
to learn. She has put that belief to work in her platform as
Miss Alabama 2000.
"Many studies show that children who have been exposed
to the arts score 70 percent higher in math and science
tests," said the Samford junior, who will represent
Alabama in the Miss America pageant Oct. 14.
"Every subject somehow feeds back on the arts. The sad thing
is that when there are budget cuts, the arts are usually the
first to go."
Sanderson developed a program to encourage elementary schoolchildren
to feel comfortable performing. She has presented the program
in about 30 schools around Jefferson and Etowah counties during
the past several years and hopes to do more as Miss Alabama.
"Early exposure to the arts builds character in children
and teaches them commitment, and they gain confidence,"
said Sanderson. "This helps them in other aspects of life."
The 21-year old speech communication major from Gadsden-the reigning
Miss Samford-was crowned Miss Alabama in June. She impressed
the pageant audience with a spirited performance of the song,
"I Am Woman," from the Broadway hit, Smokey Joe's Café.
It's a song that showcases her mezzo-soprano/belter voice.
|Samford junior Jana Sanderson, named Miss
Alabama in June, will compete in the Miss America pageant this
Sanderson became interested in performing when, as a fifth grader,
she saw her first Broadway musicals in New York City. "I
was entranced," she recalled. Back in Gadsden, she performed
with local and regional theater, and started voice lessons at
She began studying with Samford
voice instructor Randall Richardson as a high school senior
and entered Samford on a voice scholarship.
Sanderson has been active in College Heights Baptist Church in
East Gadsden, where she sang in the youth choir and often performed
solos. She is the daughter of Judy Longshore and the late Brian
Sanderson, who was killed when Jana was three. As a Samford student,
she attends Meadowbrook Baptist Church.
Samford's Miss Alabamas
1948 Martha Ann Ingram Calton
1951 Betty Burson Howell '52
1989 Julie Coons Williams '91
1994 Amie Beth Dickinson Shaver '94
1995 Leigh Sherer '97
1996 Alison McCreary '98
1999 Julie Smith '98
2000 Jana Sanderson