Recapping the AMHS Talent Show

A review of this years showcase of Magnet’s best talents.

For those who missed it, last week was the annual Academic Magnet Talent show, which I was fortunate enough to emcee along with Vishwa Veeraswamy. In this article I will be giving a recap highlighting all the great acts featured in this year’s talent show. 

The esteemed judges for the night included Ms. Desbrow, Mr. Flo, Ms. Collins, Mr. Knauer, Ms. Lankford, and Dr. Lupo. The judges scored each performance on the following criteria: Technical Ability, Stage Presence, Overall Creativity of the Performance, Whether the performance achieves its intention, and lastly, Audience Engagement.

The showcase started off with Magnet’s Dirty-Beats setting the tone for the night with three rhythms. The drummers included Aiden Ball, Oliver Ball, Rin Baylock, Amara Buel, Ava Cauthen, Noah Johnson, Sophia Leclerc, Isabella Peraldo, Samuel Pupke, Molly Schweickhardt, Chase Sutcliffe, JJ Tin, Lulu Wallace, and Abby Youmans.

Following this was senior Paisley Hodges, who sang Gimme Gimme from Thoroughly Modern Millie. Paisley’s performance floored me with her amazing voice and captivating stage presence. It was definitely a hard performance to follow up and a strong start to the night. 

Next up was Randy Villariza who performed Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra on the piano. Randy’s performance was crisp as he played the piano masterfully and gave a great showing of true talent. 

Vivian Lam was next with a guitar and vocal performance of “When the World Stopped Moving” by Mazzy Star. There were some behind the scenes commotion with Vivian’s guitar as she had to change the one she was using multiple times due to hers not being able to connect with the stage’s speaker system. Despite this Vivian handled the pressure like a champ and gave a stellar showing in both guitar and singing. 

Following Vivian was junior Abby Youmans, who gave an insane opera performance to “Habanera” by Carmen. To give you an idea as to how show-stopping this opera was, even Ms. Desbrow, known opera expert, was impressed. I on the other hand know nothing about singing or opera but could still thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the talent Abby displayed. 

Next up was the first band of the night, Arcade Crouse, Maria Cymbalyuk, and Samuel Persinger performing “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane. Samuel Persinger was the real MVP of the night as he fulfilled the role as a drummer in three different bands that night and did fantastically in all three performances. The performance as a whole was amazing from the vocals to guitar playing and was a perfect finish to set I and send off into intermission. 

Starting off set II strongly, seniors Elin Herndon and Sophia Leclerc played on the guitar and sang “Fade Into You” by Mazzy Star. This duet was not as flashy as others, but instead, excelled at showcasing beautiful singing, harmonies, and guitar-playing.

Following this was the K-pop Club, featuring: Nora Cheng, Helina Lloyd, Hannah Mclaughlin, Gordon Oliver, and Noa Wallen. Noa and Nora performed at the winter pep rally and made sure to bring the electrifying energy to the stage Thursday night. They performed to “Boy With Luv” by BTS, and the group as a whole, moved together beautifully. This performance was one of the most exciting ones of the night and one of my favorites to watch.

The next performance was a little unconventional but blew the competition away in creativity and comedy. Seniors Noah Johnson and Ty Osmond performed “Love is an Open Door” with kazoos and choreography to match. The description does not give the performance justice to how hilarious it truly was. From start to finish, it was an audience favorite with its refreshing take on “Love is an Open Door”.

After this was another Disney-inspired set with Rin Baylock, Keren Collins, and Kira Hamrick performing “No Se Hablo de Bruno” from Encanto, complete with singing and scarf choreography. This trio gave a wonderful tribute to Disney’s Encanto and definitely captivated the judges.

The next performance was a show-stopper to say the least. Keveon Ford, Donovan Hamilton, Samuel Persinger, and Jacob Somsky performed “Walk this Way” by Aerosmith. Self-named “Bring the Hype”, these boys put on a show to rival Steven Tyler’s own. The lead guitarist and singers commanded the stage, and the band as a whole worked beautifully to put on a stellar performance. When the band was finished, the audience rewarded them with a standing ovation for their magnificent performance.

Last but certainly not least, Dylan Geddis, Catie Gill, Miled Garrigan, Irene Liu, Kofi Ayiku, and Ashleigh Smith performed “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse. There was some discourse on what the band name should be, with many different people pitching in, but eventually, landed on “Senioritis” a band name that accurately encapsulates what the five are feeling. Band name drama aside, their performance really showcased amazing talent. Irene and Ashleigh sang together beautifully, and both have voices that I would kill for. The rest of the group, with Catie and Dylan on guitar, Miles on bass, and Kofi on piano brought this performance to the next level.

Once all of the performances have finished, the audience got a special treat with a showcase from the AMHS jazz band including: Maria Cymbalyuk, Keveon Ford, Edward Mack, Daniel Robets, and Lulu Wallace. While this was happening, the esteemed panel of judges tallied the scores.

Then the moment that we were all waiting for came, the winner was announced. The winner would win a certificate and bragging rights so there was high anticipation for the announcement. Second runner up was Randy Villiariza’s performance of “Fly Me to the Moon”. First runner up was Noah Johnson and Ty Osmond’s hilarious take on “Love Is An Open Door”. And the winners’ for the 2023 AMHS talent show were Keveon, Donovon, Sam, and Jacob’s “Walk This Way”. All these winners were very deserving and I pity the judges who had to decide on the amazing pool of talent from all the performers. 

Overall this year’s talent show was a huge success and I would highly recommend going to next years, because they’re always great. Shoutout to Mr. Grimshaw, the stage hands, and everyone behind the scene who made it happen.