Local talent on display

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

The judges were looking for stage presence, originality, appearance and the level of their overall performance Wednesday night at the Summer Variety Talent Show.

Parents, friends, teachers and community supporters packed into the Demopolis High School to watch the superstars of tomorrow as they sang, danced, stepped and showed their musical talents.

In the kindergarten through sixth-grade category, Jennifer Belcher began the night with her rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” followed by Julianna Lane singing “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

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Mikala Eicher sang “Jesus Take the Wheel,” followed by Victoria Belcher singing a classic, “Twinkle, Twinkle.”

Jason Low pulled out his violin to play “Long, Long, Ago,” and the show switched gears back to singing when Antonio Nixon Jr. performed “Glorify the Lord.”

Camilla Tutt and Shannon Pittman finished up the first segment singing “Amazing Grace” and “Some People Want It All,” respectively.

During intermission, the Demopolis Middle School cheerleaders performed, followed by a cheer session led by the Summer Enrichment Camp cheerleaders.

Porsche Vaughn opened the seven through 12th grade segment with an original poem titled “Be With Him,” and Tahana Pickett followed with her version of “Love.”

DHS step teams Phi Chi Beta (Victor Green, Abraham Steele, Anthony Kemp, and Larry Cobb) and Chi Beta Psi (Porsche Vaughn, Amber Griffin, Alexis Kinster, Nefertari Bolden, Lakeia Alvis and Cheyenne Griffin) demonstrated the Greek fraternity and sorority art form.

Preston Rudell showed off his saxophone skills by performing “One Last Thing,” and Valissa Sams sang “Stand Up For Love,” with Sydney Hill following with “Over the Rainbow.”

Katie Boland sang “Tomorrow” right before Evan Spence’s band, Eliza Burning (Jonathan Strickland, Justin Midgorden, John Haisty, and John Julian), took the stage to wrap up the show.

“DHS has a very talented future,” judge Dylan Daniels said as he sat at the table with Eugene Lyles Jr., Deborah Sheppard, and Ann Parson.

“I think it’s great,” community education director Barbara Hill said. “I didn’t know we had this much talent here in Demopolis and it all just came right out.”

After tallying the scores, there were two ties for third place in both categories.

Jason Low and Camilla Tutt came in third in the K-3 group, while Eliza Burning and Katie Boland tied for third in the 7-12 group.

In second place in each groups were Julianne Lane and Sydney Hill.

Even after having to start his song over again because of a mic dysfunction, Antonia Nixon Jr. took home a $100 cash prize for first place group and Porsche Vaughn’s poem took home first in the 7-12.

“I though I was going to win,” Nixon said with a big grin.

“I am so proud of him,” his mother Erica Howze said as she hugged her 8-year-old son.

But Vaughn’s mindset wasn’t as positive before the winners were announced

“I thought I couldn’t win twice,” she said speaking of her DHS talent show win. “But I wanted to read that poem because that’s what I wanted to say because of

the things I see in the world and the things I see people my age doing. I feel like if I said something to them, they might listen to me since they don’t listen to the adults.”

“It’s feels wonderful,” Vaughn’s mother, Tonya, said. “It surprised me.”

Proceeds from the talent show were donated to the Evan Spence fund to help the family pay for medical expenses. By the end of the night, the event had raised a total of $1,500 that members of Demopolis’ First United Methodist Church decided to match. Making the entire sum of the night, $3,000.

Hill and Demopolis City Schools 21st Century Community Learning Center would like to thank the MC for the night Dan Wilson, performance accompanist Toney Nixon, the judges, and the city’s school officials, Dr. Isaac Espy, Booker T. Barlow, Clarence Jackson, Dr. Tony J. Speegle, Dr. Wesley Hill, and Mary Glass. They would also like to send special thanks to the event’s sponsors Colony Office Products, Farmhouse Restaurant, Hardee’s, Marvin’s, McDonald’s, Movie Gallery, Niles Hair Salon, Parr’s Chevron Station, Perfect Touch, Pizza Hut, Robert’s Restaurant, Taco Bell, Designer’s Showcase, La Fiesta, Mustard Seed, New Morning Star Baptist Church and of course, First United Methodist Church for matching the funds.