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The Blue & Gray Press | August 23, 2019

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Mary Wash’s Got Talent entertains campus

Mary Wash’s Got Talent entertains campus


On Friday, March 11, the University of Mary Washington sponsored its annual talent show, Mary Wash’s Got Talent in Dodd Auditorium. The event was hosted by sophomore Mike Mogavero and junior Mikey Barnes, who arrived late to the event with excuses that he had been looking for UMW in every Fredericksburg listed on MapQuest, a joke that the two continued to hold onto for the rest of the event.

Before starting the show, Mogavero and Barnes introduced the judges, who included Vice President for Student Affairs Juliette Landphair, Assistant Dean of Student Involvement Melissa Jones, Associate Director of residence Life for residential Education Dave Fleming, Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker.

The evening consisted of a plethora of diverse performances, particularly of the dance variety. The first performance of the evening was by Andrea Villegas, who mesmerized the audience with her extraordinary belly dancing.

Joe Cheeks wowed the audience with an elaborate beat boxing performance. Cheeks received the award for having the most creative performance during the competition.

The next contestant, Agon Musliu, impressed the audience and judges with his unusual dancing style known as “animation.” Musliu placed second overall at the end of the night. The rest of the acts throughout the evening were musical skills consisting of voice, guitar and piano performances.

Tselmunn Zgd was the first vocalist to perform and sang a touching rendition of “Let it Go” by James Bay. Amanda Short lit up the stage singing  Frank Sinatra’s  classic, “Fly Me to the Moon.”

Aripra Mohan played an impressive piano arrangement of One Republic’s hit song “Counting Stars.” The audience rose to give her a standing ovation. Ryan Ford performed an original song called “Insomnia,” to the delight of the student.

Following Ford was Shelby Sencindiver, who played and sang an original arrangement as well. The arrangement was a mash up of The Eagles’ “Hotel California” combined with The Mama and The Papa’s “California Dreamin’.”

Vocalist and pianist, Damon Dixon, impressed everyone with his own mashup of popular songs, including Drake’s “Hotline Bling” and John Legend’s “Ordinary People.” Dixon placed third overall in the show.

A group of three students, Lonnice Edwards, Kathleen Nagle and Sophie Horville, took first place in the show overall with “Hit‘em Up Style” by Blu Cantrell.

Rounding out the evening was the student band, The Champions, who played a rendition of “Somebody to Love” by Queen. Members in the audiences could not help but sing along by the end of the song. By the end of the song every audience member had joined in.

While judges deliberated and audience members casted their votes via text messages, Mogravero serenaded the audience with his original song called “My Angel,” written for someone special in his life.

UMW’s student body seemed pleased with the results of the night, and praised all the performances.

“I was pretty impressed,” said junior environmental science major Casey Tinius. “There are some really creative people here. I especially liked Agon, Ryan and Damon.” Senior biology major Dana Bargh had a similar opinion to Tinius. “There were a variety of different talents displayed,” Bargh said. “I was really impressed with everyone especially the artists who wrote their own songs.”

The only complaints students seemed to have pertained to the sound system, which to falter during several performances.“My only issue was the microphone was very loud which disrupted the performances,” Bargh said.

Tinius echoed Bargh’s sentiments.

“The only issue was I think they had the sound system up too loud,” Tinius said. “It made it difficult to actually enjoy some of the performances.”