–by Elisia Brodeur–

More than 50 ES students, from PreK 3 through grade 5, shared their many performing arts talents on stage in the PAC before a riveted audience of RIS parents, family members, teachers, and fellow students earlier this year. There were so many acts—34 in all—that the show was divided into four groups, each introduced by its own ensemble of emcees and featuring students from the whole range of grades.

The show opened with a cute skit reminding the audience to turn off their cell phones, followed by a welcome by Father Travis. The first group kicked off with a cool 5th-grade rock band. The rest of that group showcased individual student’s musical talents on the piano, khim, and drums, as well as vocal soloists and dance and vocal groups. 

The second group included piano duets, solo dancers showcasing signature Fortnite dance moves, and one group of dancers who really got the crowd going. The third group changed the pace a little with an elegant ballet performance, a dramatic speech, a kindergarten pianist, and a quartet of sisters who sang and played a song from Beauty and the Beast.

The emcees introducing the final group noted that to put on a performance like this, “takes a lot of talent and hard work” and that “many famous performers started out just like this, at their school talent show.” The group featured three outstanding piano soloists—some were so little that their feet didn’t even reach the pedals, a trio who choreographed their dance moves to a Taylor Swift song, a ukulele solo, and a second-grade hip-hop dancer with some skilled moves. The final act was a violin soloist who performed a rousing song from an Avengers movie. The show wrapped up with all of the performers dancing and singing to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.  

Beyond the sheer range of talents, the show also featured lots of sparkly dresses, hair bows, cool suits, and coordinated outfits. All of the performers had evidently practiced a great deal and were excited to be showcasing their talents. I was impressed by their bravery—particularly the solo acts. It takes a lot of nerve to get on stage in front of a crowd, especially if you’re the only person on that big stage! A show like this also gives our students a creative outlet and validates the importance of learning and honing skills beyond academics. As Dr. Josh said in his closing remarks: “This kind of show lets [our students] shine in other ways.” 

Many thanks to our indefatigable director, Ms. Kim, for all the work she put into preparing for and managing the show, to the light and sound crew, and to all of the many ES teachers and TAs who helped with every aspect of the logistics, both before and during the show. It was an outstanding production!