Fall Talent Show A Success

By Molly Hawkins

Staff Writer

Katy Perry, Jason Mraz, and Ed Sheeran were among the many artists showcased at the HHS fall talent show on Nov. 10.

From acoustic guitar, piano and flute to drums and bass, a great range of performances created an excellent experience for the performers and audience alike. Multiple bands performed sets complete with guitar, drums, vocals, and more, such as Ben Fargiano, Raj Dandekar, and Drew Lane, who performed “Something’s Missing” by John Mayer and then followed that with Fargiano’s original song, “25th and Cedar.” The song is featured in Fargiano’s album “25th and Cedar,” which can be streamed on Spotify.

Fargiano’s brother Tim also performed, showing that talent runs in the family; he played piano and sang “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5 alongside Alex Barker-Hook, who sang with him and played percussion.

The show also featured many great acoustic performances, such as Megan Sheeran, who sang “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson.

“I picked ‘The Way I Am’ because it’s such a cute little song that’s upbeat but not quite as well known. It’s different from what most people perform in the talent show. Plus the instrumental part isn’t super hard, so I was confident that these wonderfully talented people could pick it up with ease,” Sheeran said. “And in terms of the performance, I thought it went really well, especially since it was thrown together so last minute. I had such a fantastic time at the talent show, and I’m hoping to perform at the next one.”

Sam Cote also sang, but instead of guitar, accompanied himself with his ukelele. Cote played both The Beatles’ “Blackbird” and “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz. The mix of instruments in the show maintained excitement throughout the spectators.

“I loved watching talented students share their passion for music with us. I especially loved the graceful dance performance by Clare Wu and the intense drum battle between Raj [Dandekar] and Eric [Olafsen],” senior Sneha Karthikeyan said.

For Wu, who did an improvisational dance routine to “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles, performing was a last-minute decision.

“I think it went pretty well, considering that I didn’t decide to do it until an hour before the show, so I was really panicked that it was going to go badly,” Wu said. “I had to improvise my dance, but I think in the end it turned out well because I could really feel the music and it was such a beautiful song.”

Wu began dancing at the age of 6, starting out with ballet and then expanding her style to include jazz and modern dance.

Seniors Raj Dandekar and Eric Olafsen opened the second half of the show with a drum-off that changed the pace and grabbed the audience’s attention as they alternated drumming individual progressions with ones they had coordinated together. No victor was declared, but the loud applause and cheering from the crowd made it clear that both had won.

“I had a lot of fun performing at the talent show and I think it went really well,” Olafsen said. “I always enjoy playing the drums for everyone, and I really appreciate all the support that I get for doing it. The drum battle between Raj and I was epic, and I think everyone enjoyed it. We’ve been playing together for many years, but we have never done anything like that. It’s always an honor to play with such talented musicians. It was an awesome night, and all of the performers did an amazing job.”

However, in addition to loud and exciting performances were acts that took on a completely different sound. Rachael Chen and Evan Palmer played the classical piece “Sonatine” by Walter Gieseking, with Chen on the flute and Palmer on the piano. The unique sound and intricacy of the piece left many in awe.  

The winners of the Talent Show were announced by host Will Griffin – the performance of Freebird by the band Escape led by front man Sam Cot, accented by Ricky Schwartz’s guitar solo.

As well as serving as an opportunity for students to share their gifts with the school community, the show, organized by the Class of 2017 officers, was also successful in raising money to support the senior class.

In terms of fundraising, the talent show was really profitable. We were able to raise over $400, which will be extremely helpful when planning events later on in the year,” senior class vice president Mercedes Marie Lahaie said. “Our goal is to make sure senior year is a great experience for everyone. We are also having another talent show in the spring, so make sure to attend that one too.”

Full List of Performances

Hosts: Michael Karlis and Will Griffin

  1. Riley Meyers: “Roar” by Katy Perry
  2. Julia Lotvin, Ben Fargiano, Raj Dandekar: “Black Horse And The Cherry Tree” by KT Tunstall and “Closer” by The Chainsmokers
  3. Clare Wu: Improvisational Dance Routine to “Georgia On My Mind” by Ray Charles
  4. Megan Sheeran feat. Julia Lotvin: “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson
  5. Will Huebner, Olivia Kirshy, Ricky Schwartz, and Abby Kelly-Lanser: “I Don’t Even Know Your Name” by Sean Mendes
  6. Sam Cote: “Blackbird” by The Beatles and “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz
  7. Tim Fargiano and Alex Barker-Hook: “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5
  8. Hayden August and Young Wang: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz
  9. Hayden August: “How To Save A Life” by The Fray
  10. Rachael Chen and Evan Palmer: Flute and Piano Duet: “Sonatine” by Walter Gieseking
  11. Nolan Storm and Camilla Schemmel: “Fast Car” by Tracy Chapman and “Someone Like You” by Adele
  12. Raj Dandekar and Eric Olafsen:  Drum Battle
  13. Jon Katz: “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
  14. Sam Cote, Ricky Schwartz, Nalin Storm: “Freebird” by Lynard Skynard
  15. Ben Fargiano, Raj Dandekar, and Drew Lane: “Something’s Missing” by John Mayer and “25th and Cedar” by Ben Fargiano