Story & Photos By John Kearney
The Multicultural Talent Show welcomed 25 different acts celebrating many races, ethnicities, and ages inside the Large Auditorium on Marple Campus April 24.
Performances varied from well-choreographed dance routines to a kung fu act, as well as softly-sung original songs, stand-up comedy, and fan- favorite covers of songs with origins spanning the globe.
“It’s not necessarily a cultural focus; however, we call it multicultural to encourage people from all walks of life to perform,” said English professor Tanya Franklin, who emceed the event. “We want people to feel comfortable, regardless of whatever their talent might be.”
The panel of judges included English professor Bonnie McMeans, drama professor Stephen Smith, and Ms. Nicola Harris, Franklin’s mother. Campus Life awarded
$150 to first place, $100 to second place, $50 to third place.
Anthony Montgomery, also known as Abstract the Entertainer, came in first place after performing his song “Hello” with Ikechi Onyenaka accompanying on alto saxophone. Abstract invited members of the audience to turn on their cell phone
flashlights and dance with him on stage as he sang verses over the upbeat instrumental.
Wenrong Zou and company gracefully performed a kung fu meditation to claim second place. They used a bendable dao, a sword commonly used in Chinese martial arts, to demonstrate other techniques and motions. Third prize winner Theresa “Chyna Blakk” Rothmiller- Hayes had the audience chiming in with the lyrical bar “call him,” in the chorus of “Tyrone” by singer Erykah Badu.
Donations collected at the door benefited the Hearts for Hardship Scholarship, a program supported by the Black and Women’s History Commitee and Phi Theta Kappa.
Franklin has been coordinating the show since 2009, except for taking a one- year hiatus in 2013 to have her daughter Quinn. Now four years old, Quinn performed during intermission by dancing with her mother to the tune of “Hard Knock Life” from the musical Annie.
“You are all winners!” Franklin told the performers. “Y’all came out here; y’all did your thing. If you are going to be here next spring, please sign up!”
Contact John Kearney at firstname.lastname@example.org