GRPL’s Definitely Got Talent!

On the 18th of August, GRPL held the third annual “GRPL’s Got Talent” in the auditorium of the main library. Having had the honor of being the MC from the beginning, I have to say that this year, the talent was even better!

The teens who signed up for this talent show are some of the most courageous and talented teens I’ve had the pleasure meeting. We had many singers, a trumpet player, and a traditional Mexican dance troupe. It takes a lot of courage to get up there on that stage and perform for an audience, and every single one of the participants definitely had talent! I’m sure the judges, Terry Lancaster, Kurt Tran, and Rachel Melville, a writer for On The Town, would agree.

The first place winner was a group of five young women called Tonantzin*, a traditional Mexican dance troupe. Their performance was top-notch, and their costumes beautiful. I loved the fact that these girls performed difficult moves and still kept a smile on their faces.  They were a real pleasure to watch.

The second place winners were two young men who called themselves “Dinosaurs on Attack.” They played acoustic guitar and sang a song they had written themselves.  As I said to Julie: “Very cool and very indy.”

The winner of third, Corey Lee, was one of my favorites.  This young man can sing.  He went up to the stage, sat down, and began singing “Rollin in the Deep” by Adele.  He opened his mouth, and we all just sat, stunned.  His voice was that good.  If you watch the video, you’ll see what I mean.

There were some many excellent acts that I know it was very hard for the judges to come to a decision.  I was especially impressed by a young woman named Annake Vande Brake, who performed the gorgeous, haunting “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen. Annake won the Most Promising Performer award.

Also, Seira Kovach, who performed at last year’s “GRPL’s Got Talent,” was back this year, to my delight.  She performed Poi again this year, artfully swinging LED balls in intricate patterns as she moved.  If you have never seen Poi before, you definitely should.  The dexterity it takes to do this without smashing yourself in the head is amazing. This year, Siera won the Most Original Performance Award.

The winner of the Best Form/Structure of Performance was won by Imani Jenkins, who played “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion on the trumpet.  She did a great job.

The Best Stage Presence award was won by a string quartet called Sixteen Strings*.  They performed Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ and did a great job.  It surprised me, but that song adapts really well for strings!

All the teens who performed were very entertaining, and it never fails to amaze me how talented these kids are!  So folks, next year, come watch GRPL’s Got Talent.  I promise you, you will be impressed! Below is the video of this year’s highlights.

*Tonanzin is made of up: Anna Baldwin, Nicole Baldwin, Ana Soas, Elizabeth Berruquin, and Paulina Cabrera.

*Dinosaurs on Attack: Andrew McKee and Quinn Lawton.

*Sixteen Strings: Ellee Banaszack, Olivia Heeringa, Daniel Blakemore and Aynsley Fuller

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