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Talent show at qathet region school highlights performances from all grades

“Some of the students who have been on our Edgehill talent show have gone on to do quite well at other schools. We’re very proud of them.” ~ Dave McMaster, Edgehill Elementary School teacher

Edgehill’s Got Talent, Edgehill Elementary School's annual talent show, provides an opportunity for students to showcase their abilities and build confidence.

Dave McMaster, a grade two and three teacher, who will be retiring this year, has been coordinating the talent show for more than 20 years. When he was previously at Grief Point Elementary School, he also coordinated talent shows.

“That’s where it all started,” said McMaster.

He said that being in a talent show such as Edgehill’s Got Talent is a different learning situation for students than being in a classroom.

“When we are doing special events, which I absolutely love, kids and teachers develop a different relationship,” said McMaster. “It’s a little more relaxed and maybe some more fun.”

The school’s students gathered in the gymnasium for a combination of live and virtual performances for the event. The virtual performances were videoed by music teacher Megan Skidmore. In the past couple of years, when COVID-19 restrictions were more prevalent, all performances were virtual, with principal Ian Landy videotaping all the performers in the past, said McMaster.

He said any opportunity students have to shine helps develop their self-confidence.

“To me, that’s important when other kids see kids up there,” said McMaster. “It may help inspire them, also, to perhaps do this. I’ve always thought that everyone has something they are good at and that they shine at. It’s not what you can’t do but it’s what you can do.

“I’ve always seen so much talent in kids and this provides an opportunity for them to share that talent with the rest of the school.”

Impressive showings

McMaster said it was incredible this year to see kindergarten students get up and sing before the school assembly and remember all of the lyrics to the songs.

“It’s very impressive at such a young age,” said McMaster. “I’m just like, wow, they can do this type of thing?”

He said he was also pleased that a couple of students were in a video where artwork was created. McMaster said he wanted somehow to incorporate the Pink Floyd song “Us and Them”, and he thought if it could somehow become involved with art, it would be great.

Another teacher told him about a couple of students who were talented, so McMaster presented the song to them and asked to see their creativity. He asked them to listen to the song and figure out what they visualized. The students came up with an incredible animation, said McMaster. Starting from clouds, music notes were falling into a river, going from a river to a paintbrush and painting the colours.

“That would never have happened if I didn’t provide the opportunity for those students to do that,” said McMaster. “If we offer that opportunity, they can take the chance.”

McMaster said there was a lot of variety at the show. The students really get into the performances, such as when they started clapping in time to music being performed, he added.

“It was a special day,” said McMaster. “I don’t walk away being disappointed.”

McMaster looks back fondly at his elementary school days and said when he went to JP Dallos Elementary School, those were the best years of his life. He said experiencing and getting involved in different things makes the school years more meaningful, and participating in a talent show is just a different form of education.

“It’s the most special event I do every year at school,” said McMaster. “Some of the students who have been on our Edgehill talent show have gone on to do quite well at other schools. We’re very proud of them.”

Student feedback

In the talent show, Edgehill grade five student Estrella Amundsen sang the song “Come As You Are” by Nirvana with a rock band made up of a bunch of friends. Estrella said she and her bandmates did a lot of practising for their performance.

“I really enjoyed it; it was a good performance,” added Estrella, of performing in front of the school. “We got a lot of support from the other students and the talent show is important for the school. It was great to have people listening.”

Grade three student Disa Amundsen said singing in front of the school with friends Hunter Larkin and Teagan Robbins was not scary because she had sung in front of people before.

“I love singing,” said Disa. “I’ve sung before at the festival of the performing arts.”

Disa said she likes to sing in her school choir and the academy choir at Powell River Academy of Music.

“I love all music,” added Disa, although her listening preferences depend on her mood, she added.

Hunter also said she likes to sing and is involved in the school choir. She and her two friends sang a song called “Night is Young” and it was selected because they all knew it.

“I enjoyed the performance, but it was sort of scary,” added Hunter. “The singing went as well as I had hoped, though.”