From singing with the Ragsdale sisters and dancing to “High School Musical” with junior dancers to an epic poetry slam by Ben Smoke and Russ Foust, it is clear that Wesleyan’s Got Talent.
There was a fantastic audience from the Wesleyan community at the 2017 High School Talent Show. The audience was packed with students from all grade levels, parents and friends. The show included many singing and dancing acts. To start off the night, there was a sister duo of senior Grayson and fourth grader Holland Ragsdale, which got a standing ovation. They sang “Lucky” by Lenka. Senior Grayson Ragsdale said that she and her sister “practiced for many hours,” which caused two sisters to grow a stronger sibling bond.
Juniors Patterson Beaman and Hampton Henderson emceed the show. They shared with the audience that the second act was “wicked awesome.” Freshman Ally Jones sang “I’m Not That Girl” from “Wicked.” “I love to sing and perform in front of other people,” said Jones.
A few of the band members shared their talent by playing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on their trumpet. Juniors David Anderson, Rachel Hudson, Maximus Smith and Ben Smoke blew away the audience with their skills. “It’s neat to be able to see people having fun with their talents outside of a usual school performance setting or seeing some people up on stage that I never had seen perform before,” said Smoke.
The second duet of the night featured seniors Garret Huggins and Molly Borucki. Performing to “Stay” by Rihanna. Garrett Huggins played the piano and sang, while Molly Borucki danced. Junior Megan Bielan said, “I just don’t understand how one person can be as flexible as Molly; its blows my mind.” The four teacher judges, Glenn Archer, Cameron Alexander, Jeff Foster and Dawson Zimmerman titled this act as the Judges’ choice winner.
Judge Archer said, “Overall, it was a great night! The Ragsdale sisters were fantastic as the opening act. A lot of students came and provided a great audience for all the performers.”
Fan Choice winner of the Talent Show and junior Andrew Pridgen sang “You’ll be Back” from “Hamilton”. He lit up the crowd by getting into the song, even dressing in a king’s cloak and crown. Pridgen said, “I loved choosing my own song.” The talent shows gave all students a chance to express themselves in doing what they are passionate about.
Following the performance from Pridgen there was a poetry slam between junior Ben Smoke and senior Russ Foust, with sophomore Donovan Simmons playing ambiance music. They read excerpts from the “Cat in the Hat” and poems by Robert Lowell and Allen Ginsberg poems. Simmons added music that created a serious, but ironically funny scene for poetry slam. Smoke added, that the Talent Show is a great opportunity for people to step out of their comfort zone and show their skills with the Wesleyan community.
The third duet of the night was freshmen Lizzie Middleton and Emma Nydam singing “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. They both stepped out of their comfort zones for the first time. Nydam said, “It was so much fun; all of the other acts were so awesome, too.”
“There is nothing that senior Lexi Mellott can’t sing,” said senior fellow Emma Surber. Once again, Mellott blew away the crowd with her outstanding singing skills. She sang and played the piano to “The Scientist” by Coldplay. Whether it is in school play, chapel band or in the Talent Show, Mellott shares what she is passionate about with the Wesleyan community. Mellott said, “It’s so rare to see so many diverse acts in one night ranging from dancing, trumpet quartets and covers of both popular and Broadway songs.”
The final act of the night was a group of junior girls singing and dancing to “The Boys are Back” from “High School Music 3.” This was not the first time juniors Caroline Hayes, Kris Laurite, Megan Bielan and Isabelle Moratti performed in the talent show. In seventh and eighth grade, they sang and danced to “High School Musical” and the “Cheetah Girls,” so they were comfortable being in front of a crowd like this. Hayes said, “We practiced a ton and there were still a few mistakes (@KrisLaurite) but it was so much fun. We will be making an appearance next year at the Talent Show, so everyone should be looking forward to that.” Their hard work certainly paid off. Not even a fall from Kris Laurite could stop the performance from getting great reviews and earning a second place title.
The annual Talent Show is an excellent event that brings the Wesleyan community together with the creativity and talent of many Wesleyan students.