Whitney’s Got Talent raises $2,359.97 for school in Uganda

Photo Illustration by KAVYA PATHAK AND ILAF ESUF

An enormous crowd standing on the steps outside the theater waited eagerly for doors to open, tightly gripping their tickets and looking around anxiously, wanting to be the first to get into this year’s Whitney’s Got Talent show. The doors to the theater swung open and a swarm of people, students and parents alike, ran in like savage animals trying to grab seats, throwing jackets and bags on empty chairs saving them for friends. The lights finally dimmed and attention shifted from the Invisible Children videos playing on the screen in the background and moved onto Mr. Jon Bryant, who opened the show.

Being the adviser for Invisible Children, Bryant exuded enthusiasm over the production before it even began. He gave some information on the club, its cause to help build Keyo Secondary School, and how the audience can help through purchases of snacks, shirts, and other miscellaneous items, or even donations. He then handed the mic to host Roman Spinale, a junior who hopes to be a professional comedian in the future.

“I met Jay Leno when he performed at Thunder Valley Casino,” Spinale said. “He told me to get experience and try to emcee for events at my school. It was a coincidence that they asked me to emcee, and it was just fate taking its course. ”

The first act was performed by Lindsey Hendrickson who sang and Justin Achanzar who played the piano, performing “Beautiful Beautiful” by Francesca Battistelli.

Singing was a popular act of the evening, as Hunter Blofsky and Cassie Nutter performing “Because of You,”  Justine Defiesta, Larry Ramos and Conner Drab singing “Grenade” by Bruno Mars, and Amanda Reeves performing “A Moment Like This” by Kelly Clarkson, dedicating it to her boyfriend, 2010 graduate Neil Sunseri. Other acts included Maddy Stokell performing Molly, a monologue, the band Days of Tomorrow, Nathan Hodgens, Cody Cesna and Jarid Schlenz- also known as Those Three Guys, Eli Nolasco and Kris Corpus beat boxing to various radio hits, Tim Frost, and Brad and Raymond rocking out with their electric guitars.

The audience continued to nod heads, tap their feet to the beat of the music, and always provided a roaring thank you to the performers.

The winning act was a vocal performance by Megan Harriman and Renia Pitre to “Airplanes” by B.O.B.

“My hands were red after clapping so much,” Cody Jonshrud said.

A production that took almost a month of planning turned out to be successful, raising a total of $2,359 for the children at Keyo Secondary School. The second annual Whitney’s Got Talent show seems to have been successful in raising awareness.

“We probably wouldn’t be able to get 350 people for just Invisible Children, but organizing a talent show and working the message in really attracts people,” Nathan Hodgens said, “This way, we can get the word out for next year.”