Students, staff stage annual Outreach talent show

Every participant and audience member walked away a winner.

Grade 12 student Ben Rabbit and teacher John MacEachern on bass rocked the house with their rendition of Crazy Train.

Grade 12 student Ben Rabbit and teacher John MacEachern on bass rocked the house with their rendition of Crazy Train.

Every participant and audience member walked away a winner.

The Ponoka Outreach School’s annual talent show featured an excellent range of performances ranging from great rock ‘n’ roll to digital video to make-up artistry.

As usual, the staff opened the show. Their wacky dance performance of Pants on the Ground proved yet again that the Outreach staff will definitely go the distance, and do so at any cost. The low-pants, hip-hop extravaganza clearly demonstrated there are few people who can make that fashion choice work but many who will give it a try. In any case, it was hilarious.

The students’ performances included a great showcase musical talent. Grade 12 student Breanne Hetherington’s soulful singing was truly inspiring, as was Travis Cattleman’s, also a Grade 12 pupil.

Sharlene Morris, in Grade 10, really enjoyed the talent show. “I thought Breanne’s singing was very well performed. She hit all the right notes, and it was really expressive in that it showed her feelings about the music. I think the talent shows are good for the Outreach. They let the students participate in fun activities like any other high school.”

Grade 12 student Ben Rabbit was also back from last year’s show but this time he rocked the house with his guitar, accompanied by teacher John MacEachern on bass. Their rendition of Crazy Train was incredible. Ben, who later claimed he was nervous, looked totally relaxed and played the entire song flawlessly from memory, including an awesome guitar solo. Of course, the crowd went wild.

“It was pretty good,” stated Chris Arnold, Grade 12. “I really liked Ben and Mr. MacEachern’s cover of Crazy Train. The teachers’ rap thing was pretty funny. I think it’s good to try and showcase people’s skills to give them a chance to express themselves.”

“I’m always amazed by our students’ talent,” said Shelagh Hagemann, assistant principal. “Most of them are totally self-taught, yet demonstrate really impressive skills. The whole event was very fun and we all had a lot of laughs. I’m very thankful to the staff and students who put so much effort into making the talent show a great success.”

The talent on display was not restricted to music. Bianca Jenkins wowed the audience with a startling make-up demonstration in which she had transformed into a zombie. As well, Mackenzie Wolf and Molly Applegarth did a demonstration of sign-language. Molly also showed off her talent as a photographer. A really hilarious and equally original entry was Andrea Mackinaw’s presentation of a group of short digital videos.

“I think participation is important and encourages others to participate,” said Bianca Jenkins, a Grade 12 student.

“When others participate I get a chance to see other people’s unique talents, and it’s always surprising what those talents are.”

Bianca has been accepted to study make-up artistry for film and television at Vancouver Film School. “I’ve participated in the talent show doing theatrical make-up for the past two years because like to give insight to others about what my goals are for the future.”

Teacher Shelia Cooke did a great job organizing and emceeing the event. Like everyone else, she had a great time: “My favorite part about the talent show was the look on the kids’ faces when the teacher’s came out with their pants on the ground. I want to congratulate all the students that participated and were willing to put themselves out there to celebrate with each other how great our students are.”

“We’re very fortunate to have such great kids,” said principal Scott Lewis. “They bring a positive attitude with them to school every day, so I’m never surprised to see them participate in such a great event. Their willingness to take the risk of sharing their talents with the entire school is really indicative of the supportive spirit of our school. Ponoka Outreach is a welcoming, happy school, and that fact is immediately obvious to anyone who spends any amount of time here.”

Overall, it was fun, well-attended event that clearly showed, yet again, that Outreach students have excellent school spirit.