The opening act of Season Two of Lassen’s Got Talent featured Jayden Johnson, left, and Natalie Nakanishi singing Hallelujah. Photo by Glenda Svendsen

Lassen students show off talent

Lassen County boasts a disproportionate amount of talent in comparison with our small population. With this in mind, attending a local talent show includes bringing along high expectations; i.e., heavy on the talent. Year two of Lassen’s Got Talent did not disappoint.

The first act was a delightful duet consisting of Natalie Nakanishi and Jayden Johnson who did justice to the song “Hallelujah” by bringing the piece from melancholy to joy through their performance.

Freshman Alyssa Zimmerman was up next at bat. Her Acro Dance to “Fly” was pure poetry in motion. Perfection. The acrobatic aspects of her dance belied the small space she worked between stairs and stage. The choreography and her execution of it were simply put, stunning.

Kaitlyn Nakanishi played the piano while singing, “Not About Angels.” She brought the emotion and worked the keys. The song was an inspired choice for her vocals.

Chase Roby wowed with his drumming which was supposed to be set against the song “Superstition.” His performance was stellar. When the song didn’t start, however Roby just went for it — literally never missing a beat.

Miles Ormachia played “Glycerine” on the piano while also singing. His voice and performance left the impression of a seasoned piano man.

Evan Westfall and Neil (the crocodile) Growden entertained with “Freefall.” The dueling guitars elicited wows from the crowd. The original music just flowed from those two. It was a performance that nearly set the stage on fire.

Music teacher Ben Wade shared, “ It’s great to see some of these students compose their own music. There is a lot of magic happening in the music department at LHS. Students are composing music, recording music, learning to become sound engineers and more. It is very fulfilling to watch this program take off.”

Autumn Brooks’ soulful delivery of her original composition, “ Trapped in the Dark” reached her audience, even inspiring one fan to speak out against the judges’ critique.

Speaking of the judges, Nate Gebauer, Carmen Spann, Grace Romesburg, and Craig Harris – only one really stood out due to her embodiment of the Simon Cowell role and her stalwart stand against the crowd’s displeasure at her remarks. Grace Romesburg gave as good as she got, dishing out criticisms and getting booed (all in fun) and taking it all in stride.

And, it really was fun. It was fun to watch the up-and-coming talent that is so prevalent in Lassen County. It is exciting to know that these budding musicians are being cultivated by the larger than life, Ben Wade.                  “The talent show this year (our second year doing Lassen’s Got Talent) was rich in diversity and depth, much more so than last year. Many students tried out, and we took the seven best acts. I am also proud of our entire student body for being so supportive of the performers,” he said.

This year’s winners were First place Alyssa Zimmerman with her Acro Dance to “ Fly”;

second place Neil Growden and Evan Westfall with their original composition, Freefall and third Place Autumn Brooks with her original piece, “Trapped in the Dark.”

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