The Silver Anniversary OBHS Talent & Variety Show Celebrates International Night
There is an old saying that the “family that plays together, stays together.” The Oyster Bay East Norwich community is very much like one big extended family. Every year the Media Arts Club of Oyster Bay High School holds a Talent and Variety Show featuring the talents of our students and staff performing together.
Another annual event is International Night sponsored by the Foreign Language Department. Three years ago, the Supervisor for the Languages Other Than English Department, Liliana Policano approached the Media Arts Club advisor, Tom Gould, about combining the two events. OBHS Teacher, Jacklin Luciano helped out behind the scenes and on stage to make the evening a resounding success. The two events came together wonderfully in an extravaganza celebration of international cuisine, culture and entertainment.
Building on that energy, enthusiasm and success, the Talent Show / International Night has become a new tradition at Oyster Bay High School.
The young performers will get to experience the thrill of sharing the stage with professional entertainers as the international flare is represented with Salsa Dancers, Indian Dance, Colombian Folklore, Irish Step Dancing, Flamenco, and Contemporary Dance.
This year, the line between professional and student performers are blurred, as many students will be performing original music at a professional level
A highlight of the show will feature the talents of OBHS Senior James Peitz. Jimmy has performed at the Tilles Center with world renowned pianist Lang Lang. He will bring his substantial talent to the stage of the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center (The PAC) to sing and play an original composition on the piano.
An audience favorite features the talents of Arianna Chetram. Now a junior, Arianna will delight the audience singing and accompany herself on the piano.
Another tradition at OBHS is the monthly Open Mic Night which is held in the OBHS Library under the direction of OBEN Social Worker Matthew Brown. The open mic night is responsible for discovering new talent for the show. Sophomore Sarah Conway has been a regular at the open mic nights and will make her second appearance in the talent show this year. Sarah sings and plays the piano beautifully. This year she will be singing the Paul McCartney classic “Mull of Kintyre.” Alesandra Martorella was last seen at the December open mic impressing the audience with her beautiful singing. Ally will make her talent show debut this year.
Anyone who has seen the 7 & 8 Grade Musicals the past two years know that there is a new generation of exceptionally talented performers at Oyster Bay High School.
Eighth grader, Rachel Kowalsky already has built an impressive resume performing in a variety of outside theater productions and has been called on many times to sing the national anthem at events. She is coming off a successful run in the lead role of Annie Jr at the Lindenhurst Family Theater.
Fellow eighth grader, Francesca Castellano is a talent that is not to be missed. Francesca is graceful dancer with a rich and powerful singing voice. She makes her talent show debut this year.
Other musical revue cast members making their talent show debuts are energetic and always entertaining Anabella Ballone and Evelyn Ortiz.
Eighth grader, Aemilia Girardi will join the International Night celebration for the first time with a wonderful rendition of “Scarborough Fair.” The young singers will be accompanied by OBHS Music Teacher Melissa Kozee on piano.
Representing the staff of OBHS is Teacher Jacklin Luciano who will perform with her dance team, Rhythmology.
A much anticipated regular performer at International Night is the beautiful Carolina Montilla. Ms. Montilla is originally from Spain, and spent her youth training in many prestigious dance schools including: The Maica Dance Center, the professional Dance Conservatory of Cordoba, and the Superior Dance Conservatory of Malaga. In 2003, she received her professional Ballroom instructor certification, and began teaching latin dance. She began traveling throughout the country, teaching and performing with her own professional company called: Enchanteuses. She currently resides in New York, where she continues to develop her pedagogical and professional skills.
Another returning performer is Lynn Meyfort, choreographer for the Post Concert Dance Company. At the age of three, she began her dance training in the genre of Ballet. As she continued to grow, her training extended to the genres of Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Irish Step. In 2016 she received her BA in Fine Arts from Long Island University, as well as her certification through Dance and Gym USA. These certifications allowed her to teach all types of dance programming to children and adults. Currently, Lynn continues to teach, choreograph, and perform in studios, events, and festivals throughout Long Island and the Tri-State area.
This year OBHS welcomes JJ’s Dance Studio to the International Night Celebration. Located in Floral Park, New York, JJ's Dance Studio has been providing dance programming to children of all ages for over thirty-nine years. JJ's dancers have performed in many prestigious events and venues including: Radio City Music Hall, Broadway, television, music videos, and various festivals. Several of JJ's students have gone on to continue studying the art of dance in universities throughout the Tri-State area.
Another fresh face is Nathalia Ragiose, who was born in Medellin, Colombia. At the age of three, she began training at the Ballet Folklorico de Antioquia in the genres of Ballet and Colombian Folk. After discovering her passion for the art of dance, she continued her training in the genres of Salsa, Bachata, Modern, Argentine Tango, Ballroom, & Flamenco. Currently, she teaches and performs throughout the states of North Carolina, and New York.
Media Arts Club Advisor Tom Gould always gets the show started. This year he will try something different. During the food sampling hour between 7 and 8 pm, before the show kicks off, Gould will perform a sneak preview of his upcoming 2017 CD release by the “Bossa Nova Beatniks.” It is a multi-media production of the soon to be released album called “Here Come the Distractions” in its entirety that gives you a glimpse inside the recording studio. Be a 'fly on the wall' for the vocal sessions. You will hear the raw studio tracks before any mixing, editing or added effects. The musicians are George Vahamonde - Drums, Ron Rahilly - Guitar, & Tom Gould - Bass & Vocal. The intent is to show that making music is a lifelong activity that can bring joy and fulfillment regardless of whether you do it for a living or just for fun.
As always there are many surprises in store to add to the spontaneity and excitement of the evening.
Ms. Maria Randazzo and her Theater Arts Stage Crew will enhance the look, execution and professionalism of the show.
For decades, the Talent Show has been filled with very talented and entertaining performers. The event is presented by the Oyster Bay High School Media Arts Club guided by Advisor Mr. Tom Gould. The Media Arts Club officers are President Jimmy Peitz, Vice President Matthew Peitz, Secretary Sarah Conway, and Treasurer Ashley Kowalczyk.
It is a much anticipated evening of entertainment, now in its third decade at Oyster Bay High School. Warm up your winter with an evening of live entertainment at the OBHS Talent Show and International Night Celebration on Friday, January 13. Admission is $10. Proceeds will go to Oyster Bay's Sal Pipitone ENL Scholarship. Sal Pipitone was a beloved teacher and administrator at Oyster Bay High School who used to be a part of the Talent Show every year. He loved the New York Rangers and had a passion for running including running in the Boston Marathon.
At 7 pm there will be a sampling of international foods in the high school cafeteria included in the price of admission.