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Island school takes end-of-year talent show online

By Staff | Jun 2, 2020

The Sanibel School has taken one of its traditions virtual in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the end of each year, the island students and staff celebrate the close of school with a talent show, featuring a variety of acts put on by the youths. But with distance learning implemented districtwide in March due to the virus, then continued to the year’s end, it seemed there would be no show this time.

“The last day of school we traditionally host a talent show for our students,” Music Director Joey Giangreco said. “It’s usually something that the kids look forward to and a great way to end the year.”

Not wanting them to miss out this year, staff came up with a plan – turn it into a virtual show.

Giangreco, operating as the show’s director, worked with Assistant Director Edna Dykhuizen.

“We sent out the information sheet and application to all of the students,” he said.

Those interested in taking part were asked to submit a video of their act. It could be up to 3 minutes in length – the usual time for the show’s acts each year – and the act had to be school appropriate.

“The student could showcase any talent they wanted to show,” Giangreco said.

He explained that they received over 20 submissions. They then combined the videos to create one presentation, the Virtual Talent Show 2020, which was posted on the school’s Website on June 1.

“That way anyone can watch the talent show,” Giangreco said.

The presentation features students from kindergarten up to eighth grade.

“From singers and dancers, to students playing a variety of instruments,” he said, citing other acts like tricks on a pogo stick, magician show and gymnastics routine. “We have a wide variety of talent.”

Participating students are: Sophie Allen, Simon Allison, David Baker, Drew Barron, Logan Block, Dean Broadwater, Grace Campanella, Ava Camputaro, Keeva Clark, Teagan Clark, Katie Dunn, Kellan Hall, DJ Jenkins, Olivia Kauffold, Jack Longenhagen, Gracie McKinney, Charles and Grant Muddell, Natayla Sampas, Josh and Kai Schwarta and Brooks Selby, Brynn Selby, Danylo Zacharievich and Mariia Zacharievich.

Giangreco noted that during a normal year, auditions are held to be in the show. This year, those interested in taking part submitted their video as both their audition piece and for the show.

“In terms of the audition process, that was a little bit different,” he said.

Giangreco and Dykhuizen also incorporated two special performances into show.

During intermission, there would typically be an audience-participation activity, such as doing The Electric Slide dance. For this year’s show, teacher Jennifer Hall’s third-grade class will perform a virtual version of one of their brain breaks – an activity to take a break from work – called “Milkshake.”

“This was one that Mrs. Hall’s class loved to do,” he said.

Giangreco explained that the youths submitted clips during quarantine to be part of the video.

“Anyone who is watching the show will be able to get up and participate with them,” he said.

In addition, the grand finale for the presentation will be a virtual performance by the middle school choir, the Seahorse Chorale. The students will perform “Oye” from the composer Jim Papoulis.

“‘Oye’ is a piece of music that the kids have been asking to do this school year,” Giangreco said.

Before the school closure, the choir finished learning the song during their last rehearsals.

“We were not able to perform this particular piece of music live for an audience,” he said.

Giangreco explained that individual tracks were assigned and sent out to the students. Using devices like cell phones and Chromebooks, the youths recorded their tracks and sent them back to staff.

“All of the recordings were combined together to create the virtual choir performance,” he said.

The community is encouraged to hop online to see the show.

“We have many talented students here at The Sanibel School,” Giangreco said, calling the performance an inspirational one. “We hope that they are inspired through our students and their great talents.”

To watch the Virtual Talent Show 2020, visit sbl.leeschools.net.