Students showcase skills at WA’s Got Talent


Joey Shen receiving his first place award at WA’s Got Talent.

Kai-Lou Yue, Editor-In-Chief

On Friday, March 18th, the same day as senior skip day, WA’s Got Talent audience members chatted with each other in the auditorium waiting for the talent show to begin. Soon, English teacher and Mistress of Ceremonies Janet Keirstead stepped onto the stage and introduced the judges, and the 2016 edition of the annual WA’s Got Talent hosted by the Class of 2017 took off.

Freshman Joey Shen won first place on the piano, junior Yusuf Buxamusa won second with his circus tricks, and third was Rittika Adhikari for her singing. Judging the show was Dean Michael Parent, biology teacher Jenny Kravitz, and junior Max McGinty.

Act one began with senior Kadar Qian on the piano. He played a rendition of a Chinese song followed by Chopin’s “Grande Polonaise.” Later, he was joined by Chemistry teacher Matthew Howard-Donlin on a drum set to perform “YYZ” by Rush (Video clip to the left.). Then, Hannah Verre sang her original song “Living Off Screen.”

After the first few acts were performed by senior students, Keirstead quipped, “We thought about skipping [the seniors], but then we decided not to,” in reference to seniors not going school earlier in the day for senior skip day.

Buxamusa, who won second place, performed various circus tricks such as juggling and unicycle riding. He not only rode a normal-sized unicycle, but also a unicycle with a special seat a few feet high while juggling balls.

Senior Corey Godfroy followed Buxamusa by playing “Rude Mood” by Stevie Ray Vaughn on his guitar. Freshman Ayachi Sharma danced to various Bollywood melodies, and freshman Emily Holway sang while playing her guitar.

Closing the first act, Shen took first place with his performance of Medelssohn’s “Rondo.” (Video clip to the right.)

The WA 3 Point Band opened the second act with a rendition of Ryan Lewis and Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” along with a few other contemporary tunes. A few members of the band dressed in thrift clothing to go along with the song itself. Towards the end of their performance, Godfroy asked junior Lauren Demers to prom and she accepted.

The WA Bollywood Dance Club danced segments of dances from different eras such as the early 2000’s and the modern era, showing the evolution of Bollywood through the years (Video clip to the left.)

Two duets then followed, starting with juniors Forrest Meng and Christopher Nacopolous’s rapping. Juniors Sean Tseng and Jason Kottas then performed a number of songs together on the viola including “Viola Concerto in G minor” and “Locked out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars.

Adhikari, the third place winner, sang “Impossible” by Christina Aguilera and Alice Keys.

A WA percussion group playing an original song composed by Band Director George Arsenault was the last performance on the program for act 2. Arsenault himself joined the large group of percussionists on stage with a drum set and played with them.

While the judges were tabulating scores, a surprise group of faculty members including Dean Betsy Murphy, Latin teacher Miska Vincze, math teacher Cheri Fisher, science teacher Diana Bernstein, Guidance Counselor Heidi Hider, and Keirstead came onto the stage. About halfway through, Kravitz joined them dancing on stage. (Video clip to the right.)

However, according to one of the Class of 2017 advisers Scott Brown, three acts were removed as a result of seniors skipping class during the school day because of senior skip day. As consistent with school policy, if a student was not in school for at least four full blocks during the school day, he or she was ineligible to participate in after school activities such as the talent show.

“We lost out on not only three acts, but [also] on a crowd portion. But, the talent was unbelievable. We ended up stretching enough acts that it worked out okay, but we were worried about that [at first],” said Brown.

Despite the issues with senior skip day coinciding with the show, Brown believes the show was still a success.

“It went a lot smoother that we thought it would due to the whole senior skip day,” he said. “I don’t think it [negatively impacted the performance] at all. Tonight was more about quality than quantity.”