Talent Show Returns: Fay & Stuerman Win

Students showcased their abilities in the Key Club-sponsored event for the first time since 2020


Alix Queen

Collin Fay (12) holds aloft his electric guitar after providing a medley of popular songs.

Paige Bostic, Co-Editor-In-Chief of the Ledger

Aicha Beye and Sruthi Ramesh took to the stage on Jan. 28 at 7 p.m. to kick off the much anticipated 5th Annual Key Club Talent Show.

Freshman Isabella Geller was the first act, providing the audience with a heartfelt performance of “Burn” from the musical “Hamilton,” followed by Saiya Ameen on the piano. The audience then witnessed a sneak-peek into junior Cole Phillips’ upcoming album, watching several self-made music videos.

As the night progressed, the acts got more difficult to anticipate as the untalented acts took place. Brandt Cleppe faced off against Saiya Ameen in a competition to guess one-second song clips, with Cleppe claiming a close victory, guessing songs that ranged from “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from “Encanto” to “POV” by Ariana Grande.

After a tender performance of “16 Going On 17” from “The Sound of Music” by senior Sean Bruce and junior Elaine Thimyan, Alysha Sims performed a dynamic dance to “Itsy.” Following a throwback vocal performance of “Yesterday” by Pablo Romo, the next untalented act took place, a painting competition between two newly selected students, senior Reagan Beltz and junior Emma Thomas. The winner, selected by applause, was Emma. Afterward, sophomore Trent Stuerman provided a haunting piano performance of the theme of “Interstellar” to a completely enraptured audience. 

The teacher act of the night featured theater teacher Mrs. Gehrke and choir teacher Mr. Datz, in a spoken-word performance of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Driver’s License.” As Gehrke delivered her chilling monologue, Datz provided atmospheric instrumentals to a cheering crowd. 

After the intermission, Mr. Barker led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to emcee Ramesh, who was provided with flowers. The next act was a passionate performance of “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman” by sophomore Payton Busselman. The next untalented act was hijacked by Aicha Beye and sophomore Kaitlyn Stumpf, who gave an impromptu dance performance as the audience clapped along.

I would like to thank science and the Big Bang for letting me win this beautiful trophy tonight.

— Trent Stuerman (10)

Senior Dani Lemke and senior Kyler Stevenson followed with a musical performance featuring their respective talents on the piano and ukulele. A lively performance of “It Won’t Be Long Now” from “In The Heights” followed, given by Morgan Feinstein, punctuated by a rainbow of spotlights. Senior Collin Fay provided a medley of songs on electric guitar, featuring iconic musical snippets from Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” to the main theme from Super Mario Bros.

The final untalented act was a Mario Kart race done by sophomore Santosh Manikandan and junior Manav Raja, both of who were inhibited by vision-blurring goggles, taking on the infamous Rainbow Road as Donkey Kong and Princess Peach. The show went on to showcase a more unique talent as senior Athena Widlacki braided the hair of as many volunteers as she could before Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” ended. 

The final official act of the show was a piano and singing performance of Billie Eilish’s “Happier than Ever” by junior Anna Wright, accompanied by the swaying of dozens of cell phone flashlights. 

The show closed with a performance of The Muppets’ “Rainbow Connection” by Sean Bruce and Mr. Barker, the latter providing accompaniment on guitar. 

At the end of the show, Dr. Nelson thanked Mr. Barker and Key Club for a wonderful evening, commenting that “it’s not easy to stand up and talk to people on stage. It’s hard, and it’s scary.”

Dr. Nelson presented the judge’s choice winner of the evening: Collin Fay as well as the audience’s choice winner: Trent Stuerman.

After the show closed, Stuerman remarked, “I would like to thank science and the Big Bang for letting me win this beautiful trophy tonight.”