December 17, 2017

Celebration of Talent uncovers “hidden talent” in student body

By Kate Waisel ’20, Staff Writer

Blake Foster sings “Touch the Sky” by Kanye West. Photo by Kate Waisel.

With acts ranging from Kanye West songs to stand-up comedy to a self-written song, several Wellesley students showcased their abilities at the “Celebration of Talent” on March 17 at the high school.

The show began with planned performances by Kati Guerrero ’18 and Casey Morton ’18, Blake Foster ’17, Gale Bennett ’18, Adam DeLollis ’18, and Rubina Daneschvar ’17 and Eleni Krupenski ’17, in which each performer or pair of performers sang a song.

Once Open Mic began, more students stepped up, and some of the original performers gave encores. Guerrero and Morton, Foster, and Daneschvar returned to the stage, while Maggie Murray ’18, Gus Warmington ’17, Julio Martin-Marin ’17, Cypress Smith ’17, Zain Tirmizi ’17, Sara Hockett ’17, and Emma Goldenthal ’17 performed for the first time.

Daneschvar performed an original song with Krupenski called “This Road” that Daneschvar wrote two weeks ago. “I was inspired a lot by my own experiences and how it’s not all about using your head but also your heart to get you through in life. A lot of it was sort of a letter to myself and advice for my future, but it really could apply to anyone,” she said.

Hockett also performed a piece she wrote herself. The piece was a short story that she had written after attending a creative writing camp.

One performance that stood out to multiple audience members was Goldenthal’s piano piece, “Debút” by Melanie Laurent. “It was really beautiful, and I had no idea she could play so well,” Amabelle Francois ’20 said.

Goldenthal went up during Open Mic and said later, “It was mostly a spontaneous decision, though I had been thinking about going up a few people before. I get nervous speaking up much less performing so I thought it would be a good experience to do something a bit scary and different. But I’m glad I did because it was fun to be a part of the performance, and it was certainly a cool opportunity.”

Grace Lindquist ’20 enjoyed Goldenthal’s performance, as well as Bennett’s performance of “Stand By Me” and Guerrero and Morton’s harmonies in their two performances. She also thought that Martin-Marin’s slam poetry from “22 Jump St.” and the poem Tirmizi read that he had written for his English class based on “The Color Purple” were interesting.

The event was produced by the Student Unification Program (SUP) and led by the emcees, Bobby Leonhardt ’17 and Cypress Smith ’17, who took a break from her role at one point to participate during Open Mic by singing “He Could Be The One” by Miley Cyrus.

SUP decided to donate all proceeds to the Wellesley Friendly Aid, a community-based, non-profit organization that works to improve the quality of life in Wellesley and provide services to residents of Wellesley in need.

“We decided to give the proceeds to the Wellesley Friendly Aid because we wanted to support our own community, and the idea of helping less privileged families in our own area sounded really good to us,” said Saskia Higgins ’17, a co-president of SUP.

“The event was casual and personal which I really appreciated. It wasn’t something I felt a lot of pressure doing but I really enjoyed it, and I was able to make some new friends that are interested in the same things I am. Everyone was so supportive of each other which was great,” Daneschvar said.

In regards to the audience size, Emily Willrich ’20 said, “I think they should have publicized it more so more people would know about it.”

However, the people who saw the show found it mostly a success.

“I think it was really good. I’m always surprised by how good the performers are and the hidden talent that can be found in the school,” Lindquist said.

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