On Thurs., Nov.7, the LGHS leadership class hosted its annual Unplugged talent show. Every year, students and staff members alike audition with exclusively acoustic acts in hopes of performing on the Prentiss Brown Auditorium stage. This year, there were 26 performers and 12 individual acts, ranging from tear-jerking power ballads to a rock/rap quartet.
LGHS ASB president senior Katie McEnroe MC’ed the show alongside her fellow leadership student, senior Jack Murnin. In between the acts, the duo kept the audience entertained with hysterical calculus puns and even a bit in Hebrew — all while sporting the most outrageously formal outfits they could manage. Running onto the stage clad in a black, floor-length ball gown, dangly earrings, and a pearl necklace, McEnroe had the audience in stitches, exclaiming, “I thought this was the Oscars!”
Sophomore Aryan Kapoor kicked off the show with his unforgettable rendition of Geroge Micheal’s Faith. An experienced performer, Kapoor effortlessly strummed the fast-paced chords on his acoustic guitar while singing the lyrics with incredible passion. By the time he reached the second chorus, the audience was clapping along wildly to the rhythm of the song. Long after Kapoor exited the stage, members of the crowd were cheering his name.
Shalini Agrawal was the second act of the night, performing Lewis Capaldi’s hit single Someone You Loved. The audience met Agrawal with deafening cheers as she stepped onto the stage and sat at the foot of the school’s grand piano. After the crowd settled down, she went on to play with masterful skill, while fearlessly belting out the chorus in her beautiful soprano. Her heartfelt performance earned her a standing ovation when the song came to an end.
In addition to hosting, Murnin also took the stage as a performer, playing piano alongside vocalist Trevor Ross, bassist Ian Moore, and drummer Sergi Litovchenko. The quartet performed their original song, Gone.
“There was a lot of collaboration involved with making the album, as well as [this song]” Ross commented. “This past summer, we wanted to challenge ourselves and see if we could write an entire album in twenty-four hours, then perform it the very next day. We actually turned the whole process into a documentary! [Now, it’s so rewarding] to be able to perform the stuff we’ve worked on again.”
Talent show veterans Elizabeth Duvall, Gabe Barhydt, and Liam Hoole became the first and only act of the night to perform a song in a foreign language, covering Édith Piaf’s signature song, La Vie en rose. Barhydt played the acoustic guitar and Hoole played the four-string bass. Meanwhile, Duvall stood center-stage, microphone in hand. Duvall translated the first verse into English, but then went on to sing in perfect French. Her melodious voice rang throughout the theatre — instantly earning enthusiastic cheers from the crowd.
For Duvall, this was performance was especially meaningful. “This is my fourth [and last] Unplugged” she stated. “This [talent show] is how I started performing [when I was a freshman]. It introduced me to so many cool experiences, and it was what helped me start branching out. It’s bittersweet, but I’m glad I got to perform alongside my best friends.”
Freshmen Lilah Bruza and Donya Derankshandeh went up next, performing Panic! at the Disco’s Dying in LA. While Derankshndeh showed off her incredible vocal skills, Bruza wowed the audience with her impressive piano playing.
Seniors Maxine Edmonds and Holden Hunt played their original song No Limits. Even when Edmonds was just in middle school, she would volunteer to arrange the music for the school choir. To this day, her passion for composing, arranging, and performing music remains stronger than ever.
“[I’ve had people] tell me I’m not good enough, and I also sometimes tell myself I’m not good enough” Edmonds explained. “[This song] is basically me reminding myself that I’m able to accomplish anything, and there’s no limits to where I can go in the future.”
In addition to Hunt and Edmonds, several other incredibly talented duos took the stage. Former band partners Amelia Chen and Rebecca Meshenberg performed Fleet Foxes’ Oliver James, and sophomores Caitlyn Nguyen and Ben Leroy covered Young the Giant’s Cough Syrup. Senior Jamie Blough and junior James Williamson also sang If By Chance by Ruth B. Williamson accompanied Blough on the piano, while Blough executed perfect soprano runs.
In addition to the duos, several other notable solo acts took place throughout the night. Among the talented performers was freshman Theo Ortiz, who delivered a haunting cover of Lorde’s Love Club, strumming his baby blue ukelele. Senior Jacqueline Herbert also played the ukelele, singing an impeccable rendition of the Vamps’ Million Words.
The Teacher Band performed as the final act of the night, with their epic cover of Elton John’s Rocket Man. Lead vocalist Kurt Kroesche effortlessly belted out the lyrics, while Alex Chapman played bass, Don Weller played the grand piano, Dan Ross played the drums, and Matthew Holm played the acoustic guitar. Their perfect harmonies and incredible musicality had the entire audience singing along to the chorus, and waving their phone flashlights along with the rhythm. It was truly the perfect end to the perfect show.