Cody Carruth Just Solved the E&H Mystery from This Week’s “America’s Song Contest.”

by Monica Hoel

Are you watching NBC’s “America’s Song Contest”? Did you notice a little Emory & Henry Easter Egg this week?

Jeoff Bodenhorst (’75) noticed something familiar while watching the March 28 (2022) episode of America’s Song Contest. While the show’s Virginia contestant was being introduced, there were images of the Commonwealth flashing across the screen, and included was a drone shot of the Emory & Henry campus – specifically the horse barn next to exit 26.

Jeoff shared a screen shot with the alumni office, and after the picture was posted on social media it took about 10 minutes to enlist this response from B.G. Loper (’18): “Am I correct in guessing this might be your doing, Cody Carruth?” And it was.

So…what’s the rest of the story?

Cody Carruth graduated from Emory & Henry in 2018 and has already dabbled in two careers and started his own business. He did house construction for a bit, served as a police officer, and he just recently started a drone photography business called Next Flight Media, LLC.

NBC Studios got wind of Cody’s drone work from a YouTube channel he and friend DJ Jackson (’18) started in college just for fun. When Cody got a drone, he started posting some of his aerial shots and when NBC went searching for drone footage in Maryland, they found Cody. “The video they found was not my best work: I had just gotten my drone and was playing around with it at my aunt’s house in Maryland. So it’s crazy that this is what got me connected to NBC.”

In fact, the folks at NBC are so impressed with Cody’s work that they used a lot of his old footage for America’s Song Contest, and they’re hinting that they might want him to stick around and provide new work for upcoming projects.

Interestingly, Next Flight Media is really aimed at providing aerial shots for realtors. “In addition to the typical interior and exterior photographs of a home for sale, it has really caught on to provide drone images of a house. It’s a different vantage point that you could never get otherwise – unless you had a mountain close by you could look out from!”

And speaking of the terrain, Cody has just moved to Texas, where it’s terribly flat, because there appears to be a lot of realtor demand for drone work there. Plus, he has thought about living in Texas since he was a little boy. Striking out on his own and moving to a new state takes courage, but he credits some special E&H faculty members for giving him travel wings. “Dr. Julie Wilson and Dr. Shelley Koch had to work hard to convince me to do study abroad while I was a student – but it once I made that trip to Sweden and the Netherlands it just opened the flood gates. I’ve now visited 15 countries and 43 states.”

We’ll all be watching Cody to see where his wanderlust, energy, and drone lead him next.

Enjoy a conversation with Cody on The Duck Pond Wall podcast.

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1295-action-is-better"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.webp 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.webp 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.jpg 3x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.jpg" alt="Ron Miller ('20) and Liam Besneatte-Cullinane ('21) at the food pantry in Chilhowie" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/396,0,2796,2400/8277_IMG_9254.rev.1591281504.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2400" data-max-h="2400" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1295-action-is-better">“Action is better…”</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> These E&H students are flexing their service muscles this summer. <a href="/live/news/1295-action-is-better" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1119-mindy-buchanan-king-receives-outstanding-graduate"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/506,312,802,608/7332_mindy.rev.1578686155.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/png" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/506,312,802,608/7332_mindy.rev.1578686155.png 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/506,312,802,608/7332_mindy.rev.1578686155.png" alt="Mindy Buchanan-King (E&H '01) and husband John King." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="296" data-max-h="296" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1119-mindy-buchanan-king-receives-outstanding-graduate">Mindy Buchanan-King Receives Outstanding Graduate Student Award</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Mindy finished her M.A. in English in December, 2019. <a href="/live/news/1119-mindy-buchanan-king-receives-outstanding-graduate" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/2813-alex-elkins-is-pursuing-an-msw-degree-and-working"><picture class="lw_image"><source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/355,82,898,625/13608_IMG-4133.rev.1679686913.webp 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/355,82,898,625/13608_IMG-4133.rev.1679686913.JPG 1x" data-origin="responsive"/><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/355,82,898,625/13608_IMG-4133.rev.1679686913.JPG" alt="Alex Elkins Emory & Henry Class of 2020" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="543" data-max-h="543" loading="lazy" data-optimized="true"/></picture></a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/2813-alex-elkins-is-pursuing-an-msw-degree-and-working">Alex Elkins Is Pursuing an MSW Degree and Working in a Groundbreaking Program</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p> Alex Elkins wants us to learn a new word today: decarceration.</p><a href="/live/news/2813-alex-elkins-is-pursuing-an-msw-degree-and-working" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>