By Grace Kingsley
I was blessed by an amazing talent show last night. I did not expect such a high level of quantity or variety of artistic talent. Grace Terrill’s cover of “Already Gone” on the ukulele was very pretty. The finger-picking in the intro and interlude was pleasing to the ear. The vocals were good throughout, but the last chorus, when she really let go, was especially lovely. I don’t know much about rapping, but Daniel Fawkes’ performance was fairly impressive. He generally didn’t run out of breath and kept the beat pretty well. As a classically trained musician, I can confidently say that the amount of work and preparation that went into Chris Staufer’s performance was awe-inspiring. Not only was his piece extremely detailed and complicated, but he played completely from memory and on a borrowed instrument! I don’t play cello, but I can definitely appreciate how difficult it is to play an unfretted string instrument well. The emotion was beautifully expressed, especially considering the constant jumps between different styles. He was in a world of his own, with just him and the music. It was a mesmerizing performance, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Faith Gordon sang “On My Own” from Les Miserables in a truly admirable way. I aspire to be able to sing like I heard her sing last night. I’m a theater kid so I’ve experienced the difficulty of trying to sing well, speak clearly, and put emotion into it simultaneously. She accomplished all of these things almost flawlessly. Emma De Nooy performed a graceful, expressive dance routine for the audience last night. Set to a contemporary soft pop song, her fluid, poised movements couldn’t help but draw the audience in. Ashley Shar’s cover of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” was quite enjoyable. She has a wonderful voice and musical talent, and maybe with just a little but of coaching she could be fantastic. Abby Sharath performed her own piano arrangement of “Jesus Freak” by DC Talk. I was blown away. It’s hard to arrange any song into an instrumental, especially so (in my opinion) with a song from the hip-hop genre. I loved the left-hand accompaniment, and she kept the right hand melody clear and distinguished from the rich harmonies of the left hand. The decorations were tastefully added without being distracting from the original melody. Despite some technical difficulties at the beginning, Brielle DeNooyer’s soulful performance of “You Say” was worshipful and moving, especially in light of Mrs. Tarver’s message last night. Brielle has an amazing talent, and I count myself blessed to have heard her.