Exhibiting diverse voices
The audience cheered and clapped as countless performers showed off their skills at this year’s Talent Show, held by the Student Union Board (STUB) at Seattle Pacific University.
“My biggest goal is to make sure people here at SPU realize how much talent there is and how diverse the talent is here,” stated Kaytlin Tan, STUB’s co-chair for this year’s talent show.
Intent on providing students with recognition and an inviting and diverse platform, this year’s talent show featured an array of student performances, as well as the annual people of promise awards as a break between the two acts of the talent performances.
The People of Promise award is given to students who have shown a commitment to SPU’s values through the way they act and their service.
This year’s winners were divided by class standing and announced during the show’s intermission.
A total of six recipients were awarded this year, two per class. Students voted on their choices through OrgSync prior to the night.
First-years do not receive this award.
The sophomore winners were Sonja Gundersen and Diamond Tate, the junior winners were Julianne Paine and Jacob Calton, and the senior winners were Monica Moeng and Molly Merriman.
The performers for night had previously gone through an audition process in November of last year in order to earn their spot on stage.
Senior Kyle Sogge demonstrated his unique talent by performing “Music That Slaps.”
The audience cheered for Sogge as he did something seemingly impossible: making music with only slaps against his face.
“They’re the kind of audience that fills a performer with life, which in turn fills the audience back up. I was surprised at the moments they started clapping, and I sometimes got taken aback by how positive their voices were,” Sogge said.
From classical songs by Mozart and Beethoven to pop culture tunes from “Star Wars,”
“The Legend of Zelda” and HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” Sogge enthralled the audience and judges with his performance and even earned him the People’s Choice award and third place.
“To win both people’s choice and third place reminded me that I am good at what I do and that I do it for good reasons,” Sogge reflected.
“It was the kind of encouragement that said, ‘Keep going,’ because I was on the right path.”
Sogge was far from the only talented performer of the night, however.
Sophomore Mikayla Borromeo, the president and choreographer of SPU’s hip-hop dance club Ante Up, performed a dance titled “Every Friend That I Know,” which won her second place for the night.
Borromeo’s performance began with an audio recording of President Donald Trump speaking about alcohol followed by the voices of women voicing their experiences with sexual assault.
What followed was a dance that commented on women’s suffering due to sexual assault, while also displaying how women can be empowered by standing up for themselves.
The audience was quiet as they reflected on the message behind Borromeo’s performance.
One of the judges, Dr. Elena Brezynski, commented that “women deserve to be heard,” and it was at this point that the entire audience started to cheer for Borromeo’s dance and its message.
First place went to the step team B^2, thanks to their lively performance, making this their second consecutive first place win.
Their second year performing at the talent show, B^2 featured People of Promise winner Tate, first-year Mysonne Brown, senior Nathan Samayo, sophomore Aden Yilma, senior Omni Lott, sophomore Sawa Tecle, junior Shelby Perkins and sophomore Anthony Hester.
Their memorable and action-packed performance kept the audience at the edge of their seats, at one point even jumping off the stage and heading towards the exits, while the entire audience cheered them out of the gym.
STUB’s Talent Show exemplified how the SPU community can come together to appreciate the talents within SPU whether it is through music, dance, the many other performances of the night, or the People of Promise awards.