The normally calm walkway from Beamer Center to Edman Chapel was filled with impatient chatter and shivering students last Friday evening well before the doors opened for the 2014 Wheaton Talent Show.
Sophomore Iliana Rivera, who attended the Talent Show, said, “I decided to get in line a half an hour before the doors opened. When I got there, the line had already reached the library!”
Edman Chapel was packed with students, parents and professors, even though College Union, who hosted the show, reported that they had put out 100 more seats than they did last year in anticipation of a larger crowd.
Once the lights dimmed, a video introduced the Talent Show emcees. Seniors Joshua Ryken and Josiah Cohen, live on stage, made up the emcee duo that facilitated the transitions between acts and provided a comic storyline threaded throughout the night.
To thunderous applause, the pseudo-roommates cracked jokes about Wheaton’s status quo. They introduced the fictitious “plate-less policy” in Anderson Commons and questioned the College’s decision to open the Sports and Recreation Complex but not other academic buildings on Sundays.
The first half of the acts commenced with junior Becca Hamilton’s song, “There’s the Blanchard Bells,” a comedic, Broadway-style number that made light of the often-commented-upon dating scene at Wheaton College.
Senior Samantha Henson followed the first act, with a bare-bones rendition of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”
Ryken and Cohen introduced the next act, “Tenor and Baritone,” performed by junior Patrick ZerSchmiede and senior Jonathan Cramer and accompanied by senior Raluca Bojor. The duo launched into a witty tune, illustrating the stereotypes associated with the different male voice parts and won third place from the judges placed throughout the auditorium.
Next freshman Jacob Nagler strummed and plucked his bass in an act entitled, “Bass Solo,” delivering a range of notes from gravelly, sonorous bass pitches to a higher, cello-like timbre.
Senior Sarah Macolino took the stage after Nagler, issuing a fiery spoken word poem depicting her own life experience with the opposite sex and her personal struggles with and conclusions about her identity.
Sabor Latino, the College’s Latin dance club, rounded out the first half of the night with three pairs of dancers twirling to the driving beat of Latin music.
The second half of the show produced two out of the three winning acts.
After a 10-minute intermission, senior Caleb Wiley and a 13-person band dominated the stage to sing their song “Bright.”
Next, senior Garrett Gaunch delivered a stand-up comedy sketch, entertaining the crowd with vivid memories of his first kiss, which occurred after a more-than-awkward date at Disney World.
Following Gaunch, freshman pianist Jesse Dunn strode to center stage, bowed once to the crowd, once to the piano, and then went on to perform a whimsical rendition of “Bumble Boogie.” His interpretation involved falling from his seat and winking at the audience. In response, the freshman won second place.
Seniors Amanda Azkoul and Nick Scheske then delivered a soulful acoustic version of the popular song “Stay With Me.” With only a tambourine, a guitar and two voices, the duet earned an enthusiastic reaction.
The final act of the night, “Mantastic,” consisted of an acrobatic, choreographed dance performed by a collection of floormates from Traber 2.
Just before “Mantastic” took the stage, however, junior Young Min You performed the winning piece,“Beethoven’s Theme and Variations,” with the familiar first measures of “Für Elise.” Then, to great audience appreciation, he transitioned smoothly into pop song after pop song. His selection included pieces like “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack and “Sail” by Awolnation.
Young Min You, the first-place winner of both the people’s choice award and the formal judging of the 2014 Talent Show, said that he wanted “everyone to find enjoyment, despite their age or musical preference,” explaining the range of songs he performed on Friday.
To the audience members who voted for his success, Young Min added, “I broke my new bow tie during the performance. That’s how much I wanted to bring joy to you. Thanks for enjoying it!”