Aaron Raymond – Staff Photographer

On Friday, Jan. 30th, the Lower RA Staff of Susan B. Anthony Halls held its annual talent show, “UR’s Got Talent!” The show featured several student music performances, all of which received input from UR faculty and staff judges. This year, the judges were Dean of Students Matthew Burns, UR Brass Choir Director Josef Hanson and UR food service worker, “Diva of Danforth,” Dawn Hosier. The judges rapport with the performers made for an entertaining night, and the range of impressive performances kept one phrase ringing true for the entire event: UR has got talent.

Standout performers included Magnifique Nsengimana ‘18 and sophomore Jeffrey Kanyama ‘17 who went under the pseudonyms DJ Studd and Makaveli, respectively. The two rappers put on a fiery and confident hip-hop performance which echoed the sounds of DJ Khaled and other 2000’s gangsta rappers. In addition, Alexandria Brown ‘18 played acoustic guitar and sang an original song, “Running,” accompanied by Thomas Andolsek ‘18 on percussion. The two put on an earnest, catchy and captivating performance. In another bit, James Yarberry ‘18 played violin along to a backing track of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which Judge Dawn described as cinematic and thrilling (Burns was less impressed – he wasn’t sure if the performance was even real, what with Yarberry playing along with his “little computer”).

In “UR’s Got Talent” tradition, the judges were stars as much as the performers. As usual, Burns played his role as the panel’s grump (in response to Alexandria Brown’s performance of “Running,” he said the song would have listeners, “running, running, running away”). Hanson offered valuable constructive criticism to performers on how they could improve their stage presence and showmanship and had a warm attitude. Still, the MVP of the night was Hosier, whose feedback was earnest, loving and infectious. In response to student-run rock group NJR’s performance of “You’re so Vain,” Dawn commented that she wanted to take the band on an American tour – but only through warm states like California.

In between performances, the event’s emcees kept the show rolling. Emcee Ben Hall ‘17 put on a freestyle piano and vocal piece about frogs which was highly entertaining. In addition, Cole Oppedisano ‘16 and Dan Chess ‘16 did a whimsical bit of improv involving vegan dinosaurs and cheese falling from the sky. In every moment of the night, jokes and creativity were abound.

No talent show is complete without (a) winner(s) though, and this year’s were Alexandria and Thomas, whose authenticity had the audience mesmerized. Still, the entire event, from its ambitious performances to its creative judges and emcees, proved that UR’s student body is a force to be reckoned with.

Howard is a member

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