Story by Kimberly Hsueh and Haelee Kim
Photo by Katelyn Hernandez
Students rushed into the auditorium for the annual Talent Show assembly on Thursday, Feb. 13, to witness their peers display a variety of talents. This year ASB recruited a diverse set of acts, presenting nine multicultural performances ranging from traditional Māori dance to popular Mandarin and Cantonese songs.
The band This Bitter Thing instantaneously captivated the audiences’ attention from the get-go, performing its original song “Overload.” guitarists Logan Bishop and Shayan Germai, Matthew Dudley, and singer Anika Gavlak overloaded the room with their electrifying guitar tunes and expressive rock vibes.
Junior Yutae Kim, the first place winner from last year’s talent show, returned for his second year. Kim freestyle beatboxed, incorporating the melodies of Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” and the Bee Gees’ “Holiday.” Kowal later joined the performance, rapping in tune to Kim’s rhythmic beats and referencing the boys basketball team, La Cañada, and several teachers in his rap.
Sophomore Tara Gao sensually danced to the Lebanese song “La Ma Rah Iza’l A’ Chi,” while junior Elizabeth Lee performed a solo dance routine to Charlie Puth’s “Attention” and Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin’s “I Like It.”
Senior Sophie Gracia showcased her poi ball skills, adding modern elements to the traditional Māori dance by swinging multicolored LED lights throughout the performance. Seniors Kaitlyn Tam and Calla Timmerman rounded off the dance acts with a piece from the dance Winter Concert, a Color Guard routine to Billie Eilish’s “Ocean Eyes.”
The “Those Bygone Years Choir” sang a medley of Mandarin and Cantonese songs such as “Fairy Tale” by Michael Wong and “Red Sun” by Hacken Lee. Juniors Sean Feng and Thompson Yang and seniors Dana Lin and Erin Wang led the performance, swaying arm in arm under a lowered projector displaying lyrics and a video montage.
Senior Serenda Camarillo then moved the audience with her cover of “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys. Winning third at last year’s Talent Show, she conveyed her song with much emotion, dedicating the performance to a special person sitting out there in the crowd.
The show concluded with the band, “Purple Sky,” with their original song. While sophomore Jeffery Oh, senior Gabriel Tom, and senior Lim Bui strummed their guitars, sophomore Stephanie Li played the keyboard, senior Michael Jia played the drums, and junior Charis Cheung stole the spotlight with her steady, luring voice.
“This year’s assembly is definitely more unique than previous years,” Activities Director Casey Shotwell said. “The talent show included different forms of art that we’ve never seen, from the Chinese choir to Maori poi dance. Although we had numerous dance performances, they all varied in style and appeal. Moreover, both bands were exemplary; they were powerful, memorable, and showed great originality and talent.”
Tam and Timmerman’s Color Guard performance took hours of practice, first performing their piece at the dance concert in December 2019. This year’s Talent Show is particularly special for Tam, as it marks the last time the pair will perform on stage together before graduation.
“‘Performing “Ocean Eyes’ with my best friend is something I will cherish forever,” Tam said. “Our piece is about leaving high school and missing each other when we do so… I will probably never perform this piece again, which breaks my heart, but I will carry with me this feeling of happiness, warmth, and nostalgia when I think about our performance.”
The talent show winners will be announced next week and the first place performer will receive a $100 prize.