10/07/07 — High school talent takes center stage at fair competition

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High school talent takes center stage at fair competition

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on October 7, 2007 2:14 AM

Thursday night's audience clapped, stomped and even danced along with some of the acts at the ninth- through 12th-grade talent show.

Acts ranged from drum and guitar solos to clogging and step team performances.

One of the first up in the instrumental solo category was Evan Helbig, a junior at Charles B. Aycock High School. He played "Lesley's Song" by Frederick Hand -- a classical piece -- on his guitar.

He chose that particular piece because "it was my old guitar teacher's favorite song. My teacher was in Portugal, and I moved away recently to come here. He would think it would be the best song for me."

Kicking things up was Megan Whelan, a 16-year-old student from Charles B. Aycock. She did a traditional Irish step dance to "Treble Reel."

She wore a traditional Irish costume, a short sequined dress with hard flat panels in front and at the sides. She also wore a matching crown. It was silver, black and blue.

Her number was a hard-shoe dance that she choreographed herself. It included 10 different steps.

"It takes a lot of stamina," Megan said. She has been doing Irish dancing for three and a half years and practices several hours a week.

She hopes to continue doing this type of dance throughout high school and college.

Shaquita Brooks slowed things down a bit with a vocal solo, "How Do I Say Good-bye?" with no accompaniment. She's a junior at Spring Creek High School.

She chose this song because her grandfather and a lot of other people close to her have died in her life. "I sang the song really for them," she said.

"The song says that there's no tomorrow and it's so hard to say goodbye when you might not make it to tomorrow. This day is here and you can say goodbye today."

Shaquita has been singing since she was a little girl. She sings at her church, Pentecostal Holiness, and with her mother's organization, Youth With a Dream. This is her third year with her school's show choir, and she has been in chorus for two years.

One day, she would like to be a professional gospel singer.

A popular act was the Theta Phi Theta Step Team from Rosewood High School. Choreographer and member Roseina Britton said it took about a month to get the routine down pat for their very first performance.

The 16-member team has performed at a Red Cross fundraiser, raising $1,000. They have continued giving performances at community events.

Team members have grade point averages of 3.0 or higher.

"We do this just to give back to the community," Roseina said. "And it gets the students more involved with different activities. And it lets people know that there are students who want to make a difference in the community."

She said they have a lot of fun and encourage each other to think of the team as a family.

Other acts included a a drum solo by Gary Nance, a senior at Rosewood High School. He played a piece he composed called "Gary's Jam." Akeem Lipford, a junior at Goldsboro High School, played a number he composed on the piano titled "Impromptu No. 1."

In the dance category, Elizabeth Rowe had the audience on its feet with her clogging routine to "All Shook Up."

And James Thompson, Tommy Rogers and Eric Lumpton wowed the audience with their rendition of "Smoke on the Water," playing two guitars and a saxophone. They are students at Southern Wayne High School.