Parents who attended the finals of
Pomona’s student talent show this past Saturday left Edmunds Ballroom confident
that their children are part of a diversely talented community. The
performance, organized by Pomona Resident Hall Staff, marked the second annual
Pomona’s Got Talent. The show provided a unique way for parents to experience
the school, and showcased eclectic performances including blind-folded piano
playing, hula-hoop acrobatics, guitar-mandolin mash-ups, stand-up comedy, acoustic
guitar and a dance routine to Korean pop.
“We’ve been planning it since last
August during RHS training,” said Aaron Altman PO ’13, an RA in Gibson.
An RHS staff and student selection board chose
three acts from each audition zone (HWL, SMOG and North) to pass through to
Saturday’s finals. The event was emceed by RHS members Eldridge Green PO ’12 and
Eugene Aarons-Cooke PO ’13. Pomona College President David Oxtoby, Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum, Dean of the College Cecilia Conrad and CDO
director Mary Raymond served as the judging panel.
Guest comedian Olivia Harewood,
sister of Wig RA John Harewood PO ‘12, opened the event and was followed by a
guest performance from 5C a cappella group Midnight Echo.
Roger Sheu PO ’14 started off the
competition with a skillful rendition of the third movement of Prokofiev’s
Sonata No. 7, after which he produced an airplane eye mask and stunned the
audience with a blindfolded performance of the “Athlete’s Rag” from the Super Mario
video game series. Sheu is double majoring in chemistry and math, but finds
time for Orchestra, Choir and Glee Club, and is preparing
for a solo recital this April.
Sheu was followed by Thomas Slade,
PO ’12, who melted hearts with his acoustic cover of the Beatles’ “Come
Together” and then an original composition. Although he has only been playing
guitar for five years, Slade and his band passed through to the L.A. finals of
The X Factor two years ago.
sensational performance prompted President Oxtoby to ask, “Why in the world are
you studying economics?”
The third act woke the audience from
their acoustic trance with a blaring techno beat. Maurissa Dorn and Aparna
Sarkar, both PO ’14, rushed to the stage with hula hoops in hand and amazed the
crowd with an energetic routine that had them weaving in and out of the
spinning hoops, at times balancing the hoops on their wrists, arms and necks.
“So fun, adrenaline rush,” Sarkar said after the show.
Dorn and Sarkar are members of the
Pomona Hoop Club, which Dorn began her first year at Pomona.
Andre Peregon PO ’12, a neuroscience
major and member of Without a Box Improv and 5C Late Night Standup, followed
with a stand-up routine. After him Peregon, Tim Kung and Ben Graubart, both PO ’14,
performed an original mash-up of Michael Jackson classic “Billie Jean” and “Feel
Good Inc.” by Gorillaz. Next came a raw and passionate rendition of Radiohead’s
“How to Disappear Completely” by Louis Lemus PO ’15 on electric guitar.
The audience favorite was the “musical
journey” led by Kevin Chung PO ’15 and Albert Chang PO ’14 on cello and violin. Chang,
Chung’s sponsor, conceived the idea for a classical medley for the fall sponsor
group performances, but the biology and neuroscience majors (respectively) couldn’t
find the time until the spring.
“Kevin and I both had classical
training and both participated in the college orchestra, so we decided that we
could do something ‘classically’ related that would be both entertaining and
pleasing,” Chang said.
The duo’s “history of music”—as
described by Chung—was comprised of brief snippets of Pachelbel’s Canon, Jaws,
Michael Jackson, ADELE and an AT&T ringtone, to name a few.
The last act, according to
performers King Robinson and Spencer Heim, both PO ’15, had been brewing since
their Orientation Adventure trip this fall. Flaunting waistcoats and top hats,
Robinson and Heim closed the show with an energetic, self-choreographed dance
routine to Korean pop music.
“I’m glad I got to show off in front
of some big names on campus… Not everyone gets the opportunity to jump around
to Korean pop music in front of President Oxtoby and Dean Feldblum,” Heim said.
The judges tallied their results
during a closing comedic sketch by Harewood. Chung and Chang took first, Sheu
second and Dorn and Sarkar third place. Prizes included an iPod Touch, an iPod Nano and an iPod shuffle, respectively.
was clear that it put everyone in a good mood. I got a lot of positive feedback
from elated parents,” Peregon said after the show.
“This was the best talent show that
we have ever had,” Feldblum said.