The lobby of Memorial Auditorium was buzzing with an anxious audience awaiting their friends and family to take the stage on April 9 for Shippensburg University’s first talent show. The show began at 8 p.m. and ran late into the night as 13 contestants were judged by a panel of judges ranging from professors to undergraduate students.
First place winner James Barciz sang with a flawless voice that won the hearts of the audience and judges.
“We look for things like talent and creativity in a contestant,” said panel judge Professor Sam Benbow. “We liked how he explained his act and that he hit every note.”
Barciz was originally a soprano who decided to dabble with opera when a friend suggested he should.
“Everyone was telling me I should probably get involved with opera,” said Barciz. “After that it just kind of happened.”
The performance he gave provoked some audience members into a standing ovation while the rest gave a thunderous applause. Peter Shuey won second place with his wonderful singing and acoustic guitar act.
“One day when I was a freshman I just picked up a guitar,” Shuey said when asked how he got started with performing.
With obvious natural talent, he opened with a unique whistling solo that caught the attention of everyone in the auditorium, including the judges.
The show was set up so the judges would pick the first-place and second-place winners while the third-place winner’s fate was left in the hands of the audience.
Third-place winner was the rap duo Amen led by Anthony Yates. The audience went wild as Yates jumped off the stage and broke out his hiphop moves for the panel.
“I get my inspiration from my father who died in ’06,” said Yates. Yates’s father was a producer that put together the winning smash-up which was performed.
“I thought the whole thing was really good for the first year doing this,” said audience member Abbey Andrews about the whole show. “I really liked the comedy guy.”
The comedy guy was Lennon Free who did a hilarious stand-up routine that caused the audience to erupt with laughter.
When asked where his inspiration for his stand-up came from he said, “Usually when I’m really tired it comes to me, so my whole act is based on being really tired.”
Free has upcoming stand-up routines at The Thought Lot as well as Doc Holidays for all his “comedy friends.”
The inspiring duet, Cheryl Strenger and Jenna Stine performed to overcome their fear of stage fright.
“We didn’t think we’d even make it through the first audition for the show,” said Jenna Stine. “We were so nervous up there tonight.” The nerves never appeared onstage to the audience as they put on a solid show.
All contestants put on a great show that proved how passionate they were for their special gift.
With SU’s first talent show being such a success, one can only hope there will be one that is just as successful next year.