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The Blue & Gray Press | December 15, 2017

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Do UMW's Talent Justice

By JESS MASULLI
Guest Columnist

Last Friday the Washroom was filled with the music of students competing in the first round of the UMW talent show.  While this event sounds promising enough, it should be more organized, publicized, and more conducive to the performers.

The talent show, in its first year on campus, has been organized by the Late Night Crew that helps OSACS. The generous prize is $500 for the winner.

All of the right ideas are present, but the event needs to be better handled.  This event has the potential to be as big as “Mr. UMW” and other large events on campus.

The talent show consists of three rounds in which students get eliminated.  The first round was decided by student votes. The final round will have judges, which will be more fair.

A difficulty with the event is the location.  All three rounds are being held in the Washroom.  While the Washroom does have a laid-back atmosphere, it is not a favorable location for musicians.

The washroom is a noisy place with people playing pool, ping-pong, and life-size “Connect Four.”  This is nerve-racking for performers who are used to quiet.

Also, there is not enough seating.  For the first round, students pulled up couches and sat on tables.  What will they do for the final round when more students are expected to come?

As an audience member, I also noticed the condition of the piano.  The piano being used was brought from Willard.  It was in poor condition and out of tune.

Dodd Auditorium has a grand piano, a better sound system, more seating, and better acoustics.

It would be possible to fill Dodd Auditorium if there was a more organized and greater amount of publicity.

To start, the talent show could be put higher up in the OSACS weekly e-mail every week, instead of just once at the bottom.

Steven Thomas, the assistance director of OSACS, is trying to get more publicity by taking all the contestants pictures.  He also is planning on starting a Facebook group to attract people.

Other ways to get people to the event could be writing on the rock and creating flyers.  Getting more people to the event is important so that the audience consists of more than just friends of the contestants.

At Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, there is a talent show held every year.  The event is the largest on campus, with over fifty people at the auditions alone.  You may ask how big the school is.  The school has less than 1000 people.  We are four times that size, yet we can only get about eight people at the first round.

This does not mean that Mary Washington has a lack of talent.  It means that advertising needs to be greater for the coming years.

As an audience member, I propose that the talent show be moved to Dodd Auditorium, or if this is not possible due to time conflicts, the Great Hall.  I also would like to see increased publicity so that true talent at Mary Washington can be showcased.

I realize that this is the first year for the talent show and that in the future it could be more organized, but I would like to see more people support the performers in the next two rounds.

Jessica Masulli is a freshman.