Holmes Takes Talent Show Crown, Talent Show Draws Seemingly Positive Reaction
Written by Victor Cascio on November 9, 2021
At Kansas Wesleyan University, talent is present in abundance and takes many forms. Of course, that mostly comes in the form of students specializing in a single department in either athletics or performing arts. However, this past Friday night, students were given the opportunity to showcase their abilities beyond just their sport or other primary niches. The Multicultural Student Union hosted its 2nd annual talent show in Sams Chapel this past Friday evening, in which students performed a wide variety of talents that extended beyond just their abilities on the playing field, on the stage, etc. The student body was alive with enthusiasm for each act, showing an outpour of support for each individual who took center stage to perform.
The evening was kicked off by the show’s 3rd place finisher, senior and fellow MCSU member Roy Sanders (Sacramento, CA/Pre-Athletic Training). It was immediately apparent to the audience that Sanders had pulled out all of the stops for his act, which was predominantly reflected in his outfit. Sanders rocked a cowboy hat, jeans, and shades, among other garments worn by most country singers during a performance. Cool and confident, Sanders delivered a solid performance that included crowd participation and a two-step dance during the bridge of the song. The audience erupted following the conclusion of the song, something that proved to be a consistent occurrence as the evening progressed.
As far as singing acts were concerned, to say Sanders was in great company in terms of musical talent on Friday would be an understatement. Several other students opted to perform a song of some sort, and a variety of musical outlets were exercised in doing so. From Andrew Sorenson’s rendition of Pink Floyd’s “How I Wish You Were Here” on the guitar to Luke Hagar’s original rap, which detailed his battle with various mental challenges, students expressed themselves and their ideas in a multitude of ways. And they were excellent, too; It’s not a coincidence that the 1st and 3rd place prizes were awarded to singing acts. By the time the students in attendance left Sams Chapel, it was common knowledge that the musical talent at KWU does not rest solely in the choir, theatre, and instrumental departments.
The second-place act made its appearance near the halfway point of the show, featuring a duo of Coyotes who displayed superb dancing skills en route to claiming the silver medal. Freshmen Thayu Kimori (Lawrence/Nursing) and Kate Kuder (Minneapolis, KS/Biomedical Chemistry) performed a fast-paced, energetic number which was highlighted by its conclusion, in which Kimori busted out into a solo featuring music inspired by her Kenyan heritage. Despite the great crowd support throughout the night, it was clear that this team of newcomers stood out and had made themselves fan favorites.
In an event that was as successful as the talent show, one would think it only appropriate to save the best for last. Freshman Tanza Holmes (Valley Center, KS/Nursing) made sure that that narrative would prevail, claiming first prize through her masterful cover of “Put Your Records On.” Displaying a blend of nervousness and excitement prior to the beginning of the act, Holmes proceeded to deliver a strong ballad, putting on a complete singing clinic. Holmes hit each note with an exuberant blend of power and precision. It should come as no surprise to anyone that witnessed such an exemplary performance that it was deserving of the top spot that night. Humbled and gracious, Holmes made sure to point out/show support for each act individually upon her acceptance of the first prize.
Coming in, it was sort of unknown what was to be expected from this event, as 2021 marked only the second year it was being held. The MCSU had to go to great lengths in the prior weeks to make students aware of the event and the audition process. It was clear from the beginning of the night that their efforts were going to pay dividends. Attendance on its own was excellent, but what’s more is that the crowd’s enthusiasm was through the chapel roof (which is quite an accomplishment when one takes into consideration the building’s great height). Students will continue to mark this event on their calendars in the coming years and current and future Coyotes will continue to have their opportunities to display their unique talents in front of audiences that are sure to be appreciated and encouraged.