By Amanda Tuzzo
Each year, you can find singers, rappers, and musicians performing on stage at Byram Hills High School. These incredibly talented individuals are our very own Byram Hills students. Many students rarely get the opportunity to display their talents to parents, peers, and the Byram Hills High School principal, Mr. Walsh, without extreme pressure. However, the One World/Great Activities Board Benefit Show gave students the perfect opportunity to perform an act of their choice, while supporting a great cause.
Byrams Got Talent was hosted by the One World Club, a local service based club, on January 11th. It was hosted to raise money for charities such as the Ronald McDonald House and to provide a great opportunity for students to become active by participating in and attending an event that raises awareness for various organizations. It was definitely a success as people were lined up at the door to buy tickets to see outstanding acts. There was not a single student who left the stage without a huge applause from the audience and a smile plastered across their face. The audience enjoyed each and every performance and was on the edge of their seats throughout the entire show!
Sophomore Shea Gordon introduced each act with humor, which had the whole audience laughing. The night began with a bang as Jake Wild, a freshman singer and band member, worked through a technical difficulty like a champ. Following the performance, Jake noted, “When the amp wasn’t working, I didn’t freak out. Instead, I thought of a plan B because the show must go on.” Jake resorted to his plan B and sang Black Horse and a Cherry Tree a cappella, amazing the crowd with his courage and fantastic voice. He later performed with his band, Worldwide Band, consisting of Jesse Schmalholz, Michael Vaquero, Sam Heine and Ben Sisco. They were victorious, taking first place and the audience adored them. In second place, sophomore Charlie Cohen sang If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys, showing her strong, sensational voice through a very challenging song. She even added her own twist to it, which everyone loved without a doubt. Freshman Jessica Tauber sang powerfully and boldly, shocking the audience with the strength presented in her voice. These performers practiced for many weeks, carefully selecting songs and working through their anticipatory nerves. Jessica Tauber tells us about her experience: “Before I got on stage I was shaking, but once the piano started, everything around me blurred out, and I just sang.”
Although many of the performers sang, there were also many students who showed off unique and unexpected talents. Leonardo Gagliardi got the audience engaged with his rapping of Alphabet Aerobics. He started off slow, gradually becoming faster with the accompaniment of the drums. Charlie Winston did a three minute stand-up comedy act that had everyone hysterical. Additionally, Jack Briody did improv on the piano, impressing everyone with his extraordinary skills. Audience member, Ellie Reinhardt says, “The talent show was a great way to raise money for the benefit and watch my peers perform. I was amazed by people I never knew had such incredible talents.” People who you never would have expected to sing impressed the crowd. Emma Fruhling, varsity soccer goalie, did not fail to impress the audience with her amazing performance of Dancing On My Own on the ukulele. These students took time out of school, sports, and clubs to present their unknown talents. This was an exceptional night and everyone who saw it would say the same. If you missed this show, make sure you come back next year to either perform or watch the incredible acts and support the cause. Senior Ally Tuzzo, a member of the audience, agrees, “Byram Hills clearly does have talent.”
Finally, I would like to acknowledge those who I have yet to mention, who did an excellent job as their talent certainly did not go unnoticed! Great job to all the performers: The Lone Paires: Josh Freedman, Luke Gordon and Shea Gordon; Siobhan Lowe, Pietrina Poritsky, Sophie Winston, Rebecca Freedman, Dominique Karanfilian, Laura LoBello, Kieran Kenny, Vanessa Robustelli, Olivia Tauber, Tatiana Minassian, Mariah Moreno, Jon Mui, Jon Freedman and Ron Packin.