Some annual traditions are worth contorting yourself for and the Annual WCDS Talent Show is clearly one of them.
Each year students in preschool through high school are invited to showcase their talents in one of the most beloved evenings on the school calendar. The marquee fundraiser for the biannual 7th & 8th grade British History trip to England, the WCDS 8th graders MC the event and introduce each act as they take the stage.
This year the event was moved to one of the school's lawns under the deep shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Families brought lawn chairs, blankets, and picnic baskets, and settled in for an evening of spectacle. Historically, the event is held in the auditorium and each act is performed live, but this year the acts were filmed in advance and compiled by long-time teacher and director of the show, Welby Griffin.
"Sharing talents is such a joyful experience for kids — especially when the community embraces them as supportively as ours always does. I didn’t want kids to have to give that up in these difficult times. We all could use a bit more joy these days. And performances are acts of sharing that bring us together when togetherness has been so hard to come by.
“So the Talent Show seemed like a particularly important tradition to keep. The trick was to do it safely. As it turned out, the outdoor movie was a huge hit!"
With acts in several categories, including dance, instrumental, singing and art, there wasn't a dull moment all evening.
Winning first place in the lower school were sisters Ainslie and Avery Hill, Front Royal, who sang an original song, "Part of that School: a Covid Parody," about distance-learning and the wish for school to return.
Daniel Fletcher, Flint Hill, took first place in the Middle School with his incredible stop-motion film about a wild ride to school only, but upon getting there realizing it was a Saturday!
High Schooler Annaleise Miglino, Culpeper, placed first with her beautiful rendition of, "A Thousand Years," from the Twilight series.
And not to be completely upstaged by the student-body, dressed in a crown and ermine cape, beloved teacher Dr. Beres rapped, "You'll Be Back" from Hamilton, taking some artistic license to include plugs for his favorite subject, math!
In the end it was determined to have been the best Talent Show ever with a desire to keep it under the stars going forward.
"At first I was sad we were going to have to skip it, but it was so nice outside and I actually got to see myself perform for the first time. I hope we always do it on the lawn!" said Shiloh Phelps, Mauertown, Middle School 2nd place winner.
— Suzanne Zylonis