The halls of Pressly were filled with the sights and sounds of singing, dancing, and even yodeling during the year’s final talent show. The special skills and hidden abilities from diverse sectors of the Westminster community were apparent to all as a variety of students and even a teacher participated in the third show for this year, a new record for the Westminster Schools.
“It’s a lot of fun because everyone who does it loves performing and everybody else does really great,” said sophomore Erica-Marie Sanchez who performed on stage with music teacher Adam Fry. “I know that for a lot of people this is one of their favorite assemblies of the year.”
The result of lots of hard work by faculty and organizers, the event garnered quite a bit of anticipation from those around the school.
“This is one of my favorite events for the school, because students get to see each other on stage,” said student government advisor Maria Russell. “Sometimes you’ll have no clue how talented they are outside the classroom doing other things they are very passionate about, like music.”
The number of performers this year reached a new high for the Westminster Schools, and the large number of acts allowed for a degree of grade-level diversity that added to the quality of the program. “This year it’s about upwards of 35 people performing in the talent show,” said English teacher Jack Morgan, who also helped to organize the talent show. “We’ve always got a very good spread of freshmen and other students throughout all the grades.”
Additionally, the talent show organizers also like to allow this year’s seniors to have a chance to perform, as this will be their last opportunity at Westminster.
“The spring talent show’s always a little senior heavy,” said Morgan, “because it’s their last time, so we like to give them a little bit of a nod that way.”
However, the large number of acts in the show only makes the audition process and decision of which acts to take that much harder. “The hardest part,” said Russell, “is when we have too many acts in the show and we have to decide who’s going to be in it and who isn’t.”
Still, Russell admits they like to give all students a chance and recognizes the large amount of talent throughout the student body. “We would love to have everyone participating,” Russell said, “so that part is always hard, but we need to stick to the time limit that we have.”
Even so, perhaps the most difficult part of the talent show is the performances themselves.
“I’ve played in competitions before,” said junior Timothy Shu, who performed on the piano, “and I think this is just about as high stress as those because whereas those are usually in front of fewer people, [the talent show] is more public and open.” But Shu still enjoys the experience of being able to perform for his peers in this way.
“It’s a good opportunity to go out,” said Shu, “and show people what I can do because I don’t usually have opportunities to go out and really perform in front of so many people. It’s a fun thing to do.”
Shu also notes the community of those who act in the talent show and how this brings them together. “I have a lot of friends in the talent show,” said Shu, “and there is kind of a sense of togetherness because we all have this other talent outside of what we do in school that kind of brings us together and let’s us show it to other people.”
Still, performing can be a nerve-racking, but still exciting experience.
“You get kind of nervous,” said Shu, “because it’s a lot of people, but exciting. I really like performing in front of people.”
Sanchez agreed with Shu’s sentiments. “I was pretty nervous,” said Sanchez, “but I think that Mr. Fry and I got it.”
This year was also unique in that the abilities and skills of not just students but teachers were on display, reflecting just how diverse the range of performers was.
“Now we are also incorporating teachers and faculty members into this process,” said Russell. “I think it makes it more fun for students to see their teachers performing. I think it’s great to see not only the talent of the students but the teachers as well.”
Science teacher Maureen Miller performed as the finale to the talent show, dancing to the Black Eyed Peas’ song “I Gotta Feeling.”
“It was really fun,” said Miller. “It was a joy. I was really nervous, but it was really great to be there.”
The support of all those involved really helped Miller to succeed on stage.
“I think everyone was really supporting,” Miller said. “Everyone was just able to get up there and share something they loved.”
Miller also recognized the large amount of talent in the Westminster community.
“I think we have so much talent here at Westminster,” said Miller, “and it was just really great to see so many people being up there to share that.”
Ultimately, it was the unique and special abilities of both students and faculty that made the talent show a success.
“To me, these are some of the best assemblies we have,” said Morgan. “Giving kids a chance to perform and show what they can do, I just love it.”