Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Voice winners Girl Named Tom returning home

Fans buy up tickets fast for 2 Van Wert concerts

Published January 19, 2022

The surrounding area has seen its share of talent cross the national stage in recent years. Fort Wayne native Addison Agen was the runner-up on Season 13 of NBC’s The Voice and Christinia Danielle Hicks reached the Top 10 on the show in Season 14. Samuel Harness, another singer from Fort Wayne, made it to the first live round of the show in November.

And in December, the Fulton County, Ohio, sibling trio, Girl Named Tom, made headlines as the first group act to reign victorious in the final round of The Voice.

The trio is set to return to northwest Ohio to perform in their home state for the first time since winning the national vocal competition.

Girl Named Tom will perform two sold-out show Sunday, Jan. 30 at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center in Van Wert.

“I think we’re going to show our versatility and what we can do with our style,” Bekah Liechty told Whatzup in an interview. “We’ve also established our sound. So, folks are going to be coming to the show and they’re going to hear just who Girl Named Tom is.”

Her brother Caleb says the audience will hear a lot of music that is “really meaningful” to Girl Named Tom.

“Whether that’s original music that we’ve written ourselves, or whether it’s people’s favorite covers that we do and that we’ve done on national television,” he said. “It’ll be an intimate experience for all and hopefully really meaningful.”

Making History on Reality Competition

The group’s time on The Voice was highlighted by several big moments. Their audition marked the first “four chair turn” of Season 21, meaning all four coaches found their initial performance impressive.

Girl Named Tom competed on the team coached by Kelly Clarkson, which ultimately resulted in Clarkson’s fourth victory during her tenure on the show.

“None of us expected to win, and just winning in itself is wild and amazing,” Joshua Liechty told Whatzup.

“But then also to (make) history as the first trio. I think that was a big reason why, going into it, we thought our chances were so low. It’s because it had never been done before. And so then to actually have done it. Hopefully, we’ll set the stage and inspire more groups and trios in the future to just go for it and audition.”

He added that there were a few other surprises that winning The Voice brought to the band.

“And then I’d also say that our stuff that charted on iTunes ­— that was a huge surprise as well in this process and super-affirming going forward that hopefully people won’t just like our covers but our original music as well. And it was very affirming that our sound works in the marketplace.”

“It connects with people,” Bekah Liechty added. “That’s the No. 1 thing.”

Growing Up Around Music

Caleb Liechty says the trio’s sound was crafted from the talents that they share, as well as some close, personal influences.

“Our sound is really influenced by what our three voices sound like together,” he said. “And we learned how to blend and harmonize in church growing up in the Mennonite tradition where a capella four-part harmony is a part of every Sunday morning.

“And so we kind of build our sound around the three of our voices. And then when we’re writing songs, we are inspired by all different folks. Me, personally, I’m really inspired by my dad, Chris, who’s a songwriter and guitarist and wrote songs to us each when we were young, and he and mom would sing together. So he’s been a big influence forever.”

Facing New Challenges

There are some big challenges in the music industry, and Joshua Liechty says relationships are often at the center of potential difficulties. He says, in music, there are, “So many egos, and in a band with siblings that’s awfully tricky.”

“I think awareness is the first key: knowing that that’s a common issue with a lot of bands. And so throughout this process — we’ve only been a band for two-and-a-half years, and we’ve only recently found kind of a ‘national success’ — so it will definitely just get trickier and trickier. And it has to stay at the top of our priority list to work on our relationships and make sure that we don’t lose sight of who we are to each other.”

Appreciative of Fans

This month’s performance will mark the trio’s first performance since winning The Voice, and Bekah Liechty expressed that she is grateful for the support that they had in their community.

“Growing up, people gave us so many opportunities to play and sing and just get comfortable sharing our gifts with people,” she said. “And so we just want to thank the teachers and the instructors, and even just the people who listened to us and built our confidence.

“That’s really important when you’re young and you put yourself out there,” she continued. “And maybe you’re playing ‘Amazing Grace’ not so gracefully and they’ll still say, ‘You did a great job! Thanks for sharing!’ They really helped us grow. And our parents, of course, are so connected in the community that the small town definitely felt like a family. And every time we return to Ohio it just feels like home. So we’re excited to share our music at every level.”

Bekah Liechty ended by extending a word of thanks to fans of Girl Named Tom.

“We’re so humbled by the support from everyone, and the kind messages that they’ve given us. Everyone means the world to us, and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”

The band would like to direct their fans and prospective listeners to their official website, to learn more about the trio.


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