Creativity and Artistry Prevail at MG Talent Show

“Public Transportation” opens the show. Band members and Greylock juniors Lexi Politis, Finn Carothers, and Lily McDermott are pictured here. Band members Quinn McDermott, Declan Rogers, and Vincent Welch are not pictured. – Photos Courtesy of Mrs. Karin Stack and senior Bryn Angelini

I am a strong believer that showcases and performances best capture the talents in our student body. This meant I was ecstatic when I heard that Mount Greylock would be putting on, for the first time in quite a while, a talent show. On Saturday night, April 8th, a flurry of talented minds, from middle schoolers to teachers, displayed their various talents. And the community came to support and cheer them on. From small skits to performances on various instruments, everyone enchanted the audience.

 To kick off the show, the band Public Transportation performed a cover of “Brazil” by Declan McKenna. The group consisted of juniors Lexi Politis on guitar and vocals, Finn Carothers on rhythm guitar, Lily McDermott on bass, Quinn McDermott on drums, Declan Rogers on piano, and Vincent Welch on the saxophone. As soon as the first piano keys were hit, I can say with certainty that everyone was immediately dazzled and enchanted by the band’s zesty and bright energy. 

As the show continued, more and more talents were put under the spotlight. Joseph Johnson, Spanish teacher and accordionist, awed with his fantastic rendition of the popular Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, “He’s a Pirate,” as well as “Rachmanioff’s Piano Concerto #3.” Junior Jaime Sweren blew me away with her emotionally vulnerable and original ballad, “Is It Too Late?,” which rawly showcased the all too familiar confusions on teenage relationships. 

Senior Sam Tucker-Smith and junior Caleb Low floored me with a beautifully intricate and dramatic piano and cello cover of “The Swan.” But this wasn’t the last time we heard from either Low or Tucker-Smith. Tucker-Smith returned later with sophomore Claire Burrow and performed a beautiful rendition of “The Light in the Piazza” from Adam Guettel’s musical. I don’t think there are enough words in any language to describe the utter euphoria that washed over me when listening to Burrow. Her voice is deep, rich, luscious and practically invented for the stage. She deserves every decibel of applause, plus more, for her stunning performance.

Sophomore Kaeya Durley blew me away with their guitar work on “Freckles” by Kevin Atwater, and seniors Sunnie Warax and Bella Jannini’s duet was silly and fun in all the best ways possible. Both Warax and Jannini also performed a show-stopping solo ballad. 

Seventh graders Drew Zuckerman and Morris Israel performed “Autumn Leaves” by Joseph Kosma and Johnny Mercer, with Zuckerman on bass and Israel on piano and singing. This was an excellent showcase of the young talent at Greylock, and Israel and Zuckerman leave audiences excited for their futures in Greylock arts. 

Another young talent, 8th grader Lyric Jackson, performed “Pacific” by Chase Petra, which was soft and lovely. Freshman Alex Brigg’s bass cover of “Pretty Woman” was in one word, charming, and in three words, an utter delight. And art teachers Jane Ellen DeSomma and Karin Stack, as well as, once again, Caleb Low, brought down the house with the intensely gorgeous cover of “Inclined.” It was rich, deep, soulful, and full of life. DeSomma, on vocals, was accompanied by Stack on the piano and Low on the cello.

Singer and pianist, 8th grader Mai Dekel, performed a creative and unique remix of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story” and “Champagne Problems.” She later returned to the stage with Adele Low, Sabine Guerra, and Nora Stricker to perform “Someone Like You,” which was beautiful and emotional. Adele Low accompanied the singers on piano and sang a chorus on her own as well.

Junior Emily Dupuis impressively played a completely improvised song: the only thing I could think was that she was making this up as she went, and let me tell you, if everyone was this flawless at improvisation, preparation would become instantly obsolete.

And who in the whole wide world could ever forget the joy that was “15 minute Hamlet,” from Yeshe Rai, Frankie Evans, Kaeya Durley, Sylas Velazquez, Che Guerra, and Quinlan Repetto. Apparently, this quickly paced skit was only about nine minutes and thirty seconds, but no matter how long, every second was terrific. Hilariously homemade with character signs and lightsabers, this show was perfect in every way. The actors were as talented as they were innovative.

Sweren returned to the stage to sing another original song with a whole bunch of talented singers. Niara Steward, Jannini, Warax, and Evans completed the group of 5 that sang Sweren’s “When We All Stand As One,” accompanied by Dupuis on piano. 

The closing act, a string quintet which included Effie Skinner, Mirabel Boyer, Ryan Keating, Caleb Low, and Grace Winters, brilliantly covered two classic Beatles songs—“Hey Jude” and “Eleanor Rigby.” The performance was harmonious and mellifluous, and it perfectly wrapped up the incredible night.

And do not for a second think I forgot the effortlessly sparkling emcees, seniors Kit and Jennah Simpson, or the ever lovely photographers, senior Bryn Angelini and teacher Karin Stack. All four are a talent within themselves and a marvel. It is thanks to them that we can all relive this night, or for those who could not make it, feel as if we did. The emcees introduced the talents with grace and had a great part in bringing about this wonderful night, and for that they deserve many thanks. 

I am crossing my fingers and wishing on every lucky star that this glorious way to celebrate the talented people in our community continues next year. As someone who sometimes struggles with a mixture of academic validation and academics, it was really cool seeing how much more there is to talent than testing, essays and grades. That’s why this is so important. It highlights the other talents—and oh how many other talents there were! Who knows, maybe I’ll enter next year. I do a nice trick with an invisible ball. But whether you were onstage or off, I hope everyone agrees with me that this night was nothing short of fabulous.